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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
About a month or so ago, I went to the theater to watch the long-in-development Dumb and Dumber To. The original, as Zack talked about on this very blog, is considered a comedy classic. Combining a lot of slap-stick and clever wordplay, it is easy to see why it connected with audiences, especially those in high school or college.
This sequel, twenty years later, wants so hard to recapture that magic of what made the original one so great. Unfortunately, it fails at nearly every turn. I can really see that the people involved (Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, and the Farrelly brothers) are really trying and do care about Lloyd (Carrey) and Harry (Daniels), but this movie is really derivative of the original even down to reusing gags.
And, on the surface, I get it. People remember the various bits from the 1994 original. That’s kind of what made it the classic it was. Dumb and Dumber To retreads a lot of the same ground, but making it slightly different to make it seem fresh. Instead, it is very distracting.
That really is the movie’s biggest sin. The film, itself, isn’t too bad. It isn’t great, but it is entertaining enough. The story has our heroes on a road-trip trying to find Harry’s potential daughter who Lloyd develops a crush on. As such, it largely follows the same formula of the original (with a villainous subplot taken from the Farrelly’s The Three Stooges), but doesn’t do anything fresh with it. And the similarities detract from the overall (not helping matters was a montage of clips from the original film during this sequel’s end credits).
I don’t want to dump on this film too much. There are some legitimately funny line, clever visual gags, and Rachel Melvin as Harry’s daughter is a really fun addition to the cast. It is just that the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. It isn’t an outright bad movie. Just incredibly disappointing and mediocre.
If you are a big fan of the first one, Dumb and Dumber To is worth a Redbox rental. Otherwise, just stick with original.