The original Dumb and Dumber was funny. Simple, but funny. And though the film was released in 1994, the comedy still resonates today. With a comedy as hilarious and successful as Dumb and Dumber, a sequel was bound to happen. But comedy sequels are difficult to write, it needs to keep the humor fresh and the characters interesting while not falling into the trap of repeating itself by using silly nods to the original. And maybe because Dumb and Dumber‘s potty humor – and the fact that I watched it when I was ten – made the film so funny. So we get older and the way film’s approach comedy changes. Unfortunately Dumb and Dumber To didn’t get the memo. The sequel lacks everything that made the first one so hilarious, and soils whatever charm the first one had as well. Hit the jump for the full review of Dumb and Dumber To.
Dumb and Dumber To takes place 20 years after the first one, with Harry (Jim Carrey) staying at a mental hospital supposedly scarred by Mary leaving him for her husband. Lloyd (Jeff Daniels) comes by to tell him that this will be his final visit, and the ultimate gag is pulled as Harry reveals he has been faking it. So off the two go, to god knows where, when they receive a letter that Harry’s daughter has been trying to reach him. The two go on a roadtrip to find the daughter Harry never knew he had, and run into all sorts of trouble and schemes that the two themselves can only run into.
Naturally the two are completely oblivious to whatever is happening, and their filter knows no bounds. But but the problem is that the jokes are stale, and some of them are down right confusing. We get a setup but the punchline takes way to long to deliver. In fact, it is almost as if the eight writers that were tacked on to pen the script got the set up and punchlines mixed up. We get a moment where Harry and Lloyd use a map to find their destination, and it takes about 10 minutes in between for them to stop in the middle of the highway – quite literally – to figure out where they are going, or for Harry to rub a smudge of the window while Lloyd is driving, only to find out that they have circled back to where they started. And that is only at the start of the film.
Dumb and Dumber To sets up a joke, but fills it in with so much other physical comedy that adds nothing to the set up, that by the time we actually get to the punchline, we forget what the joke was actually about. The filler inbetween the set up and punchline is so much that it actually prolongs the film, making it duller, and more boring, turning the sequel into something that should have never happened in the first place.
Maybe the joke is actually on us, that sequels are unnecessary, and our 20 years of asking over and over and over again will make us regret that we even asked for a sequel in the first place. There isn’t anything that resembles the original that I liked about the sequel. Even the physical humor in the sequel isn’t as potent as the original, it’s almost as if the jokes were gathered from the draft of Dumb and Dumber, and just thrown into the script of the sequel.
Carrey and Daniels still have some chemistry, the film feeds off their stupidity, and fans will enjoy their genuine idiocy. But Dumb and Dumber To cannot comprehend that it needs to have fresh content, and not repeat itself with the same scheming supporting characters who cannot comprehend Harry and Lloyd stupidity themselves.
The film drags on so long, you start to feel the supporting characters’ frustration in trying to understand that there can be characters as dumb (and dumber) as Harry and Lloyd. Their genuine stupidity from the first film was what made it so hilarious, but here the comedy comes off as a bit offensive. There are hilarious awkward and stupid moments, but then there are misogynistic riff raff that reminds us that people still do think like this. Again, that problem is due to the fact that there are so many writers tacked on to this thing. It appears that some of the jokes are written by some who understand what the first film was and the world that circles around Harry and Lloyd, but there are the other jokes where writers understand the comedy of the modern era.
So after 20 years of waiting for a Dumb and Dumber sequel to happen, we finally got it. Trouble is Dumb and Dumber To is not even a sequel that is 20 years too late, it’s just a sequel that we never asked for.