Somewhere between terrible and hilarious 

A few laughs in 'Dumb and Dumber' sequel.

click to enlarge 'DUMB AND DUMBER TO':Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels return with some dumb comedy image
  • 'DUMB AND DUMBER TO':Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels return with some dumb comedy.

"Dumb and Dumber To," the sequel no one wanted for the past 20 years, is pretty asinine even by the standards of a movie with a misspelling and the word "dumb" twice in its title. It makes children who sound too young to be at a PG-13 movie laugh aloud in dark theaters, so it has that going for it. Of course that was also the case for its predecessor, in 1994, because jokes about blind kids, excretion, messy eating and road trip excesses never die, they just get wrinkly and grow another chin.

Bobby and Peter Farrelly share the writing credits and once again co-direct, loosely. Scenes move too slowly, shots seem haphazard. The first 20 minutes feel like a stitched-together series of rejected, awkward "Saturday Night Live" sketches. Our idiot-heroes Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) reunite at the psychiatric hospital where Lloyd has been catatonic for two decades. Harry, after all these years, tells Lloyd that a health issue is going to keep him from visiting anymore, sorry buddy. This rouses Lloyd to speak for the first time in a generation, with a big ol' gotcha — it's all been a ruse, maintained even through countless visits and diaper changes, thanks Harry.

We soon learn, though, that Harry's got kidney probs that are going to need a transplant on the quick. They check with Harry's estranged parents (who, for reasons that become obvious, are not the genetic match he'd hoped) and find, via an old postcard, that Harry has a grown daughter he has never met. Her photo turns out to be flagrantly cute (Rachel Melvin plays her as a thorough space cadet) and immediately becomes the object of Lloyd's romantic daydreams, once again perhaps the funniest thing in the movie. Off they go to find this marvelous, kidney-growing specimen, this time driving a borrowed hearse to traverse America. Again, they run across scheming rich folks, made dangerous by a murderous Rob Riggle.

If you can get past the occasional flat-as-dropped-Fanta readings by all the actors involved, including Carrey and Daniels (who in other movies are, you know, legit actors), you'll find it's all too unabashedly doofy to really loathe, even if I did hear, during one particularly odious scene in a nursing home, an exasperated woman in the row behind me blurt, "Oh, my God. This is terrible," a cry that triggered a peal of giggles from the man sitting beside her. These are probably the two camps you're going to find at "Dumb and Dumber To," actually: People who can't believe they paid to see it, and people who find themselves laughing anyway. In that Venn diagram, the healthy overlap is going to be most of us.

Happily, if you manage to quiet your internal "this is terrible" voice (promise it a whiskey and an hour reading Vanity Fair, if you must), you will get some guffaws out of "Dumb and Dumber To." The second half of the movie picks up its feet, at least — while many of the jokes are puerile and obvious, at least the Farrelly brothers think they're funny and put a little effort into them. The plot includes one, maybe two, maybe as many as three actual twists, depending on how generously you want to count. Then stick around for (and through) the credits, which might be the most affecting passage in the film, in which scenes from the original movie are juxtaposed against shots from the sequel. How young Carrey and Daniels looked! And how gleefully stupid! As we all were 20 years ago, whether we knew it or not.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Sam Eifling

  • Fear and wonder

    'Arrival' makes room for 'linguistic relativity.'
    • Nov 16, 2016
  • Sip it, grip it, rip it

    Dardanelle golf legend John Daly's story next up in ESPN's '30 for 30' series.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • 'Seven' keeps it simple

    Antoine Fuqua's remake formulaic, but still a crowd-pleaser.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Gay diamonds

    Scenes from Rodeo in the Rock.
    • May 7, 2015
  • Not much to 'Love'

    In Judd Apatow's new Netflix original series.
    • Feb 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Latest in Movie Reviews

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Belk bowling, b-ball

    • Good analysis, something completely lacking from the daily newspaper's sports reporters/columnists.

    • on December 9, 2016
  • Re: Resurrection, reflection

    • http://hairtransplantncr.com/ hair transplant in delhi hair transplant ncr hair transplant cost hair transplant cost in…

    • on December 8, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation