Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug references. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: November 14, 2014 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
A cult classic which grossed a quarter of billion dollars globally spawns a sequel two decades later still shows why Jim Carrey (Kick Ass 2) and Jeff Daniels (doing well on HBO's The Newsroom and Looper) can be sprightly comedic on screen despite what even falls short of similar over-the-top angst like Anchorman 2.
Even those into the scatological and puerile inanity of the original will realize what a major letdown this is; though the subliminal and the conclusion do have a bit of that old crazy, even affecting charm especially regarding Carrey's mental-facility dweller Lloyd Christmas (remember he's devastated about
Mary Swanson played by Lauren Holly). While many will find a catheter removal in truck-pulling fashion an uproarious example of what is more bland and weak, than deliriously silly.
There's enough of a watchable quality to Bobby and Peter Farrelly's long-gestating Dumb & Dumber To but Carrey in his contortionist/shape-shifting manner shows why this is too much, unlikable, unrealistic caricature even if Daniels still remains true to his nitwit innocence as Harry Dunne.
Though Lloyd and Harry with their fashions and coifs intact have aged (can't hide the wrinkles) the characters often have a peevish quality about them which doesn't help from a mean-spirited approach by way of the crude, too eager to please writing from Sean Anders (Sex Drive, That's My Boy, Hot Tub Time Machine and director of the upcoming Horrible Bosses 2). That includes bigotry and gags regarding developmental disabilities like Asperger's Syndrome. The approach leads to more hit than miss with the mood and 'style' of humor out of sync with the surprisingly well-regarded predecessor especially when flashback sequences hit with a thud rather than hilarity.
Anders' premise involves Harry learning of a daughter he never so he could facilitate a kidney transplant, so a road trip ensues with unsavory folks of course on the take. Familiar faces like Rob Riggle (Let's Be Cops) as Travis the Groundskeeper and the raspy Kathleen Turner surround dumbed-down childish characters, the latter as an old flame of Harry and Lloyd. But, Dumb and Dumber To is just too absurd and unpleasant for its own good probably in large part to Carrey's self-parody where that once rippling, wacky charisma from his early In Living Color days seems to have been mostly reanimated to risibly, enervating effect. Riskier roles like I Love You Phillip Morris and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are hard to come by and this labor of love and homage to a large demographic still will make them yearn for what led the directing siblings to raise the bar for risqué comedy with its inappropriate physicality and malapropisms.
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