Movie Review
Dumb and Dumber To
Dumb and Dumber To poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published April 5, 2014
US Release: November 14, 2014

Directed by: Peter Farrelly Bobby Farrelly
Starring: Jim Carrey , Jeff Daniels , Laurie Holden , Kathleen Turner

PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug references
Running Time: 110 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $84,098,000
67 of 111
Itís certainly at least for me one of the most disappointing sequels Iíve ever seen.
In a word: Itís disappointing Ė Very, very disappointing. But there is some good news, maybe. And that is, is it as atrocious as the 2003 prequel, Dumb & Dumberer (D)? No way. But I was still blown away at how not good this sequel was, considering the Farrelly brothers had 20 years of time to write something good. I consider the original to be one of the best comedies of the 1990ís, one of the better cases of stupid-funny writing and performances that have ever been pulled off in the genre of comedies. Now, when this movie started, I thought there was promise to live up to the original because it starts off on the right foot, and without spoiling anything, it begins at an insane asylum with our two main characters and features an elaborate gross-out gag that is hysterical and something that only the Farrelly brothers could dream up and we begin to think this is going to be good. The audience was rocking back and forth in their seats laughing at the drawn-out sequence, but once the introduction finishes off, the hilarity comes to an end and what ensues doesnít even come close to the comic relief of the first few minutes. Seeing Jim Carrey in the way heís first presented gets some cheap chuckles and the ensuing physical gag gets better and better, until we move on from the insane asylum joke and the movie sinks and sinks.

In the following minutes after the opening scene, it looked like it was going to play on the level of Bad Grandpa (C+), and I mean that on a mildly diverting level without being laugh-out-loud funny. But then the movie kept going and I was getting increasingly frustrated at not just mediocre material but material that bordered the fine line of terrible. The more it progressed, the more it was reminding me of Anchorman 2 (C-) which I thought sucked badly compared to the original which had been stupid-funny and not flat-out retarded like its sequel. Dumb & Dumberer is one of the worst movies ever made and while Dumb and Dumber To is not one of the worst movies ever made, itís certainly at least for me one of the most disappointing sequels Iíve ever seen. Even Ace Ventura 2 (C/C+) had its moments of funny material and a classic intro even though the movie sucked in general. After the opening scene here was gone, I never let out an official laugh at what was unfolding, and most of the time I was staring deadpan at its attempts and kept thinking: This movie was 20 years in the making?

Dumb & Dumber (B) was by no means a classic comedy but it was very original for its time and it was introduced at a time when Jim Carrey was at the top of his game and consistently delivered quality comedy. I thought Dumb & Dumber To was forced in comparison, and very forced, and embarrassing. Itís irrelevant but I was even thinking about the last Indiana Jones movie and how many diehard fans felt it was phoned in without any original effort put forth and how many had felt it was completely unnecessary and untrue to the roots of the originals. Thatís what I was thinking about during the first third of Dumb & Dumber To Ė How it was desperately riding on your love of the original without introducing anything that was remotely original. Parts one and two are completely different in my perspective; here, the comedy is just way too dumb and not even stupid-funny. Itís played as if weíre going to laugh out loud hard because Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are still playing complete idiots. 20 years have passed and theyíre not just dumb but they are really dumb, and for me, they were too dumb. Thereís a difference between thinking theyíre so stupid itís funny versus thinking itís too dumb to be funny. The prequel was off-the-charts dumb and so dumb that I couldnít even watch the entire movie. I was able to watch the entire movie this time but the entire time I kept waiting for the funny moments.

Even though most casual moviegoers arenít going to care, I thought this sequel was poorly put together from a filmmaking perspective and that was adding on to my complaint of it being unfunny in general. It wasnít just the fact that I found very little here funny Ė The movie itself looked bad as an overall movie. And itís not just the fact that I saw an early cut of the movie Ė None of my complaints can be fixed later on. It was a combination of poor screenwriting and direction and not simply details that can be fixed in the editing. It was the way it was written and the way it was directed and I thought the direction was really bad. The few amusing moments rise above the poor filming of scenes but it still wasnít funny enough to save it.

Before going into this early screening, I had Borat in my head and how that comedy had clever stupid writing and actually good directing skills on the level of the Jackass movies, and I didnít want to jinx myself but I was dearly hoping this movie would be put together with similar brains as those movies. And I was immediately disappointed at how phoned in everything here was in every single department, and I immediately knew Dumb & Dumber To wasnít going to be anywhere near as good as Borat was. Borat was both a stupid intellectual political commentary as well as a stupid shock-comedy experiment, and it blew me away in its power to please the intellectual mindsets alongside stupid-funny sensibilities. Borat wasnít just one thing in comedy Ė You had to understand a thing or two to understand the humor. If you knew something about Kazakhstan, it was funny, and even if you didnít, it was still very funny. And I was hoping with Dumber To that the Farrellyís would be smarter than the average comedy filmmakers and deliver material that played on more than one level and I was shocked at how brainless they were. Now, you can look at the title and say ďWhat did you expect?Ē but the original had brains behind it all. The material may have been extremely stupid but various gags they did required brains to pull it off.

The sequel reminded me of when I saw Fun with Dick and Jane months early and was devastated at how Jim Carreyís talent was completely wasted and how nothing in that comedy was even remotely amusing. Dick and Jane got even worse when I watched it later on and my rating slipped from a C- to a D+ rating. Dick and Jane didnít even have one chuckle unless you were a fan of the sitcom mentality which it applied, and it forced its actors to strain intensely for laughs with a horrendous screenplay to work from. The screenplay for Dumb & Dumber To is not horrendous but itís still bad and bad enough to embarrass. I felt bad because Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels can be geniuses with comedy and yet here they sucked. They were both straining for effect and the original worked so well because they werenít straining for it.

The script behind the original was funny in the words which allowed the actors to subtly pull it off idiotically, whereas here the actors are trying so hard to be funny with bad writing that itís pathetic. I was also paying particularly close attention to audience reactions and there werenít that many laughs. Some gags got some chuckles but the opening scene was the only segment of full-audience laughter. If a sequel like this were to deliver on the level it should, it would be playing on the level of Borat. Borat was receiving wall-to-wall laughs and there were moments when applauses were sounding off. There was no such enthusiasm at this screening and there were a decent quantity of gags that were bombing. There were some laughs at this screening but there were quite a few gags that didnít get anything. The audience seemed to like it more than I did but it wasnít playing to the enthusiasm that I had expected. I figured this had to be one of the more anticipated comedy sequels of our time, and it wasnít delivering the kind of experience I thought it was going to even outside of my own disappointed reaction to it. I figured even if I was going to be disappointed by it, audience reactions would be a lot of fun to observe. It was playing like a standard comedy would and very unlike the big comedy sequel one might imagine.

My own reaction put aside, I still see success in its future because itís called Dumb & Dumber and stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels and was made by the Farrelly brothers, none of whom did Dumb & Dumberer. Anybody who liked the original is going to want to find out whether or not they hit or miss, and itís opening at a time very much like Anchorman 2 in which it can suck and yet still make money. I think itís going to have a strong opening weekend because of the fans, but not great, and have legs. Itís opening a few weeks before Thanksgiving which gives fans of any ages an open range of time to see it. Even without seeing the trailers yet, I can envision a debut like Bad Grandpa with very decent longevity. Even if it disappoints various fan-boys, the original has such a fan-base that many will want to test it out. Many will assume it has to be better than the prequel looked and thatís going to be the big deciding factor. Iím telling you now itís much better than the prequel, but in my books, itís still a huge disappointment.
Lee's Grade: C
Ranked #67 of 111 between Boyhood (#66) and Ride Along (#68) for 2014 movies.
Lee's Overall Grading: 3025 graded movies
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