Upon first leaving Dumb and Dumber To, initial thoughts went to, “That took 20 years and six writers?” But upon reflection, this Dumb and Dumber To review can report that although it is not as fall-to-the-floor funny as the first film, it is still pretty entertaining.
See, that’s the problem with expectations. After waiting so long for a follow-up to the 1994 film, the sky is where we expect this movie to land. But, in reality it is still very much of this earth.
For fans of those Dumb and Dumber quotes from two decades ago that are still among comedy’s most popular, well, let’s just say there is a fresh and hot heap of them from the Farrelly brothers. And although the tone of the film may be a hair different than the first time around, it is still clearly the silly cinematic siblings from Rhode Island doing what they do best.
In Dumb and Dumber To, Lloyd and Harry (Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels) are a bit more straightforward mean and less innocently stupid than they were in Dumb and Dumber to get their laughs.
Both executions work, it’s just a slightly different path to get there. But, there was something inherently hilarious about these clueless idiots doing what they do and seeing what happens next. When our comedy characters are pointedly doing things out of nastiness, we still laugh, but it’s not as hearty.
As you saw in the Dumb and Dumber To trailer, Harry has been visiting Lloyd in the mental hospital for the last 20 years. One day, Lloyd decides it's time to let Harry know the joke is on him. Yes, a joke that has been in the works for two decades. Detractors of the darker end of Harry and Lloyd in this incarnation should notice immediately that by making his best friend think he was crazy for so long, our zingers this time out will clearly be much more pointed.
Upon heading back to their apartment, Harry announces he needs a kidney or he’s going to die. We all know that the duo hit the road again (like they did in the first film) and search for a daughter that Harry just found out he has… yes, just to get her kidney.
Meanwhile, there’s a subplot involving a scientist speaking at a TED-like conference with a discovery that could change the world and his scheming wife and her lover (an always awesome Rob Riggle). It all feels a bit like the first film in that vein. But, it’s different enough that we give the Farrellys a slight pass. They know what works for a Dumb and Dumber movie, so why change it?
Out on the road, there are a lot of laughs. There’s conflict and hilarious daydream vignettes aplenty that are actually among the funniest moments in the movie. We don’t remember any outright sexism in the first film. Lloyd’s passion for his lady in Aspen was innocently pure. Here the guys are yelling, “Show us your tits,” at respected scientists and… you get the idea. Guess they’ve changed, and thus why they’re still single. Well, that and being Dumb and Dumber.
The film is the Farrellys' best work in years, although that is not saying all that much. But for those who adore Dumb and Dumber and these two actors in these two roles -- watching them be so deliciously dumb again is almost worth the wait.
Watch Dumb and Dumber online and get ready for a return to the silly.