Dumb and Dumber To

Posted on November 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Copyright 2014 Universal
Copyright 2014 Universal

A poorly timed cameo appearance by Honey Boo-Boo’s sexual predator-consorting Mama June is dumb.  Making a sequel 11 years after the original “Dumb and Dumber” and the best-forgotten prequel “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” is dumber.  Too. Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey do their best and clearly enjoy themselves, but 20 years after the original, it just isn’t as funny.  It feels like those late-era Three Stooges comedies, past the Shemp era, even past Joe Besser, with Curly Joe.  As Lloyd (Carrey) says, comedy is all about timing.  And this one is too late.

Factor this into your assessment of this review.  The movie relies heavily on the viewer’s familiarity with and affection for the original, which I do not share.  Also, I do not find jokes about stupidity funny, don’t care much for slapstick, and I am not a fan of potty humor.  If any of the following appeals to you, then by all means buy a ticket: naming a character after a crude sexual act, a snot bubble, feeding someone with fingers that have just been up someone’s butt, changing an adult diaper,  holding a bag of urine with one’s teeth, jokes about lobotomies and shock treatments, a cat ingesting meth and swinging from a chandelier, slicing off a portion of the male anatomy, giving a young girl having her first period a cork, an elderly lady in a nursing home tricking a man into sexual touching (when he removes his hand, there’s dust on it!), potentially inscestuous thoughts, and a character who confuses lepers and leprechauns.

Like the first one, this is a road movie.  Harry (Daniels) says he needs a new kidney, so he has to find a donor who is a match.  His parents inform him that he was adopted.  Someone else might have picked up on the fact that they are Asian, but of course that never occurred to our heroes.  But Harry finds out that he has a daughter who herself was adopted by a Nobel-winning scientist.  When Lloyd takes one look at her photo, she imprints on him like Renesmee on Jacob, setting us up for a little potential incest joke later on, only exceeded in its inanity by the discovery that our heroes are not exactly clear on what makes babies.

So Harry and Lloyd set out to find this girl and see if she will donate a kidney.  She is representing her father at an event where he is to receive an award, and he has given her a package with his latest discovery to turn over to charity for the good of humanity.  His wife Adele is planning to kill him and get the package back so she and her lover can sell the discovery and live happily ever after on the millions he tells her it is worth.

Carrey’s choices are always fascinating, even when the movie is at its grossest and most disgusting.  He has a ferocity and fearlessness and a sheer joy in committing to the character that rises above the lazy material.  Kathleen Turner, as the character with the filthy name, still has that magnificent husky voice and acerbic delivery.  It is too bad that one of the jokes is about how she is a “Titanic whore.”  Rob Riggle shows up not once, but twice,  as identical twins.  Even though he does not have much to do other than appear in some bizarre disguises and one really atrocious haircut, the movie picks up when he’s on screen.

I did appreciate a welcome (if gentle) parody of the TED Talks.  And I admit that I laughed three times, which were pretty much the only three jokes that were not about bodily functions or substituting faux outrageousness for humor.  It can be funny to be politically incorrect.  But political incorrectness is not itself funny.  There is a lot of great comedy in dumb characters.  But not when the script is as dumb as they are. To.

Parents should know that this movie has material that would receive an R rating if it were not a comedy.  The movie includes strong and crude language, drinking and drugs, extremely vulgar sexual references, extensive bodily function humor, brief nudity, and fantasy/comic violence including a murder plot, guns, poison, and ninjas.

Family discussion:  How does this movie compare to the original?

If you like this try: “Stuck on You” and “Shallow Hal,” from the same writers/directors

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Comedy Scene After the Credits