20 years since their first adventure, Harry finds out he has a daughter who was adopted. Lloyd and Harry try to find Harry's adopted daughter. (from IMDB.com)
Twenty years is a long time to wait for a sequel. While some sequels sit in limbo, never to ever see the light of day (like the long talked about and horribly rumored Ghostbusters 3, or even Independence Day 2), other franchises spit sequels out like it's nothing (Fast and Furious, anyone?). With actor/comedian Jim Carrey saying for years that he wouldn't do another sequel after the second Ace Ventura film, the idea of a second Dumb and Dumber film seemed impossible. But, alas, 20 years have passed and Carrey and co-star Jeff Daniels have decided to reunite for a silly sequel to the cult classic 1994 film.
Aptly incorrectly titled Dumb and Dumber To, just about everyone has returned for the sequel. And these two dopey fellas haven't gotten very far in life since we last saw them. In fact, when the movie opens, we find that Lloyd has been in a mental institution for the past two decades, with Harry coming to visit him every week (and changing his poopy diapers). Lloyd suddenly reveals that it's just been one really elaborate joke--which, of course, Harry thinks is awesome--and the two pick up where they left off. After a quick visit to Harry's parents' place, Harry finds a postcard that tells him his old girlfriend, Fraida Felcher, was pregnant back in 1991 and Harry has a child. So the two decide to set out to find Fraida and Harry's long-lost kid. But when they discover it's a girl, Lloyd is smitten once again, and it just becomes a series of mishaps and crazy antics just like their last road trip twenty years ago.
What Dumb and Dumber To has can't really make up for what it lacks, however. Daniels and Carrey slip pretty comfortably into their old proverbial shoes of stupidity, and it's just really fun to see them together as Harry and Lloyd again. Unfortunately, the rumors that To is a rehash of the original film aren't largely exaggerated. For the most part, the general idea is the same, but what makes it worse is the hamfisted attempt at a villain that concludes rather similarly. In the scenario time around, the adoptive parents of Penny are in a rather troubled marriage where her adoptive mother, Adele, is having an affair with a man named Travis. As it turns out, she's trying to poison her older husband--a renowned scientist--so she can make money off of his research and be with Travis, so the two become the villains of this story. To complicate things a bit, Travis has a twin brother in the Army named Captain Lippincott who ends up joining Adele and Travis in this plot against her husband. And of course, things just get more involved, with Harry and Lloyd crossing their paths and unintentionally throwing a wrench in their plans, and Travis eventually trying to kill Harry and Lloyd -- just like Mental from the first film. All of it just starts to feel like a bad copy of the original, especially with Rob Riggle just not having the presence or menace that Mental did. Not everything is that way, however. Only a few lines and gags are recycled, so for the most part the Harry and Lloyd material feels fresh enough. It's just unfortunate that not all of it is all that funny and the story itself is pretty weak, given that one couldn't use the excuse that the film was rushed and therefore a better script couldn't have been made. It's been two decades; there's no excuse for a weak sequel.
Rachel Melvin joins the cast as Penny, and she's actually quite perfect alongside Harry and Lloyd. One of the most fun scenes in the film comes when Lloyd meets Penny and the two act like complete goofs together. Carrey's absolutely perfect in this scene, too. They then follow it with a dinner together that's almost equally entertaining. There's also a pretty fun sequence where Harry and Lloyd are mistaken as scientific experts and this mixup allows for quite a bit of silliness. And although the role of Adele seems incredibly beneath her, it's just fun to see Laurie Holden in this movie with Jim Carrey once again. They previously starred together in the sorely underrated The Majestic in 2001. Adele's a pretty basic villain character here, though, and Farrelly film villains usually are rather bland and unrealistic, so Holden's talents are kind of wasted on this. Also, I was happy to hear about a veiled cameo appearance in this film before seeing it. Harry's meth-cooking roommate named Ice Pick, who's completely masked in a full-body yellow suit, is none other than Bill Murray. It's a super short scene, and you can kind of recognize his voice through the mask, but most viewers wouldn't pick it up based on his appearance. There's also another cameo of a character from the first film that's tucked away in an after-credits additional scene that also totally spoofs the idea of sequels, teasing a "Dumb and Dumber For" in another twenty years. But if you're a fan of the original movie, you'll want to stay till the end of the credits for this scene.
While the movie overall disappoints, it also crosses the crude and vulgar line a few times. While, surely, nothing is sacred when it comes to these kinds of movies and crude comedy is pretty "fair game" for almost anything these days--even PG-13-rated ones--a scene or two feel like they either belonged in an "Unrated" cut of the film or an R-rated cut. The worst may actually be a scene that was surprisingly included in the film's first trailer. In it, an elderly woman tells Lloyd she has diamonds in her bed under her, so we see him reach under her blankets and feeling around. He then asks if it's inside "the turkey" and she says something about them being past the giblets. He then realizes what's happening and tries to take his hand out, but says she's "clamped down." When he does pull his hand out, she tells him to scratch that off of his bucket list and he blows dust off of his hand. Another scene shows Harry recalling a memory from his childhood and we see his teenage self dripping peanut butter on his crotch--below the view of the camera--and him trying to get the dog to come over and lick it off (we then see the disgusted reaction of audience members watching him visualize this memory on a screen). Finally, when Lloyd has a daydream about romancing Penny (like in the first movie with Mary), he fends off ninja attackers and pulls his belt out of his pants at one point. He then whips a man in the crotch with it and displays his testicles hanging off the end of it for the victim to see (it's meant to be silly, but it's gross). In addition to that, there is some sexual dialog, including references to Fraida having slept around, and we even see her and an older man exit a broom closet, implying they just fooled around inside. Another scene has a woman coming on to a man and sucking on and licking his toes (which is played for laughs), and Lloyd fantasizes sleeping with Penny and we see him in reality groping and making out with the front of a tractor trailer. There's some profanity, although not a whole lot, with one "F" word being spoken through a robotic voice spoken through a handicapped person's wheelchair. There are several references to sexual situations (some that turned out to not have been sex at all), with the only nudity being Harry's bare butt crack in several comedic, non-sexual situations. There's also some violence with a character getting shot in the shoulder (with some blood on their clothes) and a bloody surgical scar on the side of another character (played for laughs as well). There's also some slapstick violence, including a train slamming into a car with a person standing outside of it, killing them instantly.
One could argue that it's been years since the Farrelly Brothers put together a worthwhile film. Dumb and Dumber To really could have been the reunion fans have been waiting for, but instead, so much about the formula and direction just feels tired or half-hearted. Carrey and Daniels put forth their best effort (even if Carrey may seem to be putting in more effort than Daniels at times), while so much about the rest of the movie just feels like the directors and script writers hoped having Carrey and Daniels would be enough. The quotable lines and memorable moments just aren't there this time around, and the only thing you might end up doing is joining the "Bush Club" after seeing this, but other than that, Dumb and Dumber To has the energy from two leads ready and willing to make a good movie, with everything else around them feeling like straight-to-video material. If you're a diehard fan, you too may just want to catch this one when it hits NetFlix or something.- John DiBiase (reviewed: 11/14/14)
Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not exclusively on content. However, if the content really affects the reviewer's opinion and experience of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's overall rating.
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