‘Dumb and Dumber To’ just plain dumb

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First Posted: 11/17/2014

In the future, is there any way we could place an expiration date on sequels?

Could we just pass some sort of government mandate that forces Hollywood to make a sequel, prequel, spin-off or squeakquel to any major, cinematic blockbuster within a five year window? And if that sequel isn’t made within that time frame, could we ensure that the film’s rights slip into the public domain where the diseased community at large can have their way with the concepts and characters in the dumbest, weirdest and grossest way possible? Because this is the only way we’re going to stop films like “Dumb and Dumber To” or ever-present threats like “Ghostbusters 3” from ever being made.

We need to grab Hollywood by its strong, developed shoulders, pull it closer and gently whisper in its ear, “Look, you need to make this piece of shit right now or else that guy over there, that’s right, that guy who got fired from Wendy’s for watching hentai porn during his break, is going to make his own erotically charged sequel that will play like a cross between Gaspar Noe’s ‘Irreversible’ and late period ‘seaQuest DSV’ and there won’t be a damn thing you can do about it”. After 20 years, the world has moved on. The time for “Dumb and Dumber To” has long since passed. Ya done goofed, Farrelly brothers.

Severe crow’s feet, a bowl haircut, basset hound-like jowls and an exposed farting ass are not a hilarious combination. Part of what makes “Dumb and Dumber To” so difficult to sit through is the sight of a 50-something Jim Carrey and an almost AARP-ready Jeff Daniels act like developmentally disabled ten-year-olds. Watching these two deep throat a hot dog or change each other’s diapers may have been weirdly charming or gently subversive when they were in their 30s but now their grotesque antics carry a chilling, unsavory quality.

There’s a scene where Carrey lounges around in adult-sized footy pajamas and disturbingly gawks at a picture of a young, 20-something woman (Rachel Melvin) he believes to be Daniels’ character’s daughter. Clearly, it’s supposed to be funny, but Carrey’s ragged, broken down appearance makes the scene far more unnerving than it has to be. Everything in “Dumb and Dumber To” feels, stupid, icky and ill-advised. It’s like experiencing a feature length, sped-up, Benny Hill style chase scene starring John Wayne Gacy in his Pogo the Clown get-up. Too much curdled whimsy is attached to this film. It’s just unbearable.

But it should be noted that “Dumb and Dumber To” doesn’t fail because Daniels and Carrey are no longer the vibrant, young performers they once were, it fails because Bobby and Peter Farrelly (and the veritable army of screenwriters and artisans that were needed to craft all of the dire, penile trauma gags) seem to have forgotten what made Harry and Lloyd so likeable. The sweetness of the characters has been stripped away and Carrey’s Lloyd and Daniels’ Harry are now predatory, inexplicably racist creeps who pointlessly taunt that – now grown-up – blind kid from the first movie and loudly demand that a presenter a TED Talks-like expo, “show [them her] tits.”

Additionally, the plot meanders around pointlessly for the first 40 minutes, the pace is needlessly sluggish, old gags from the first film are artlessly recycled as winking callbacks and Kathleen Turner is shamed on screen for the unforgivable sin of getting old and gaining weight. Basically, “Dumb and Dumber To” is the comedy equivalent to “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”; a bad idea that was willed into existence by the very same public who will violently turn against it.

The best part of “Dumb and Dumber To” is that its critical failure might finally put an end to Hollywood’s desire to disinter the graves of pop-culture, string up the corpses of your favorite movies and TV shows like marionettes and make them awkwardly lurch around before your horrified eyes.

Apart from that Bill Murray cameo, I mean. That may have been the best part of “Dumb and Dumber To”.