Film Review: Dumb and Dumber To

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Dumb and Dumber To Plot Summary:

Twenty years later, Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) embark on another antic filled road trip to track down Harry’s long lost daughter (Rachel Melvin) in order to get Harry a new kidney.

After watching Dumb and Dumber To, we can now put the phrase “The Farrelly Brothers haven’t made a good movie since There’s Something About Mary” to rest. This movie really impressed me in that it was able to crack my ass up several times over. To put it simply, this was a Dumb and Dumber movie. Was it as good as the original? Of course not. But this felt like a worthy sequel that could have immediately followed the first one. It didn’t miss a beat. I think the twenty year gap helped a lot. While I was terrified about seeing this movie, I forgot just how much I missed these morons, and that all begins with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.

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I was amazed at how easily these guys seemed to slip back into their old roles. It was incredible, and some of the best comedic chemistry we’ll ever see. I’ve been a massive Jim Carrey fan since 1994 and have never wavered since. The guy is comedy incarnate. Nobody else can do what he does. In playing Lloyd Christmas again (the role that truly vaulted him into super stardom), you can tell Carrey is having the time of his life. It was great to see him in his element again. But it’s not just the zany physical comedy that Carrey does in his sleep. It’s the subtlety in the Lloyd Christmas delivery that makes the character so special, and Carrey emulates flawlessly what he did twenty years ago.

While Carrey is brilliant, Jeff Daniels always had the tougher role as Harry Dunne. Daniels doesn’t have the luxury of being able to act goofy. He has to play a different kind of dumb. You can’t say enough about the calculated performance Daniels is able to pull off. Harry’s facial expressions and demeanor is so specific to that actor, it almost makes me cry at how well he’s achieving it. I could watch these guys do fifty more movies together.

After opening the movie with a scene we already saw in the trailer of Lloyd faking being crazy for twenty years, we are off and running. Other than a worthless Breaking Bad parody, the first half hour is excellent. What had me worried most with this movie is that the Farrelly Brothers would just go shock gag after shock gag and completely forget the pure chemistry of the characters, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was just Lloyd and Harry acting like idiots together, and I loved it. In fact, there was really only one shock gag in the whole movie, and even that was fine. There’s even a sequence in the car where they talk about playing a fart game, and the way the dialogue was delivered was something that could have been lifted right out of the first movie.

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While they don’t necessarily repeat many of the gags from the first film, you’ll notice the pacing is almost identical, as are plot elements. Billy the blind kid (Brady Bluhm) makes a return (now an adult), and every joke surrounding him fired on all cylinders. There’s a moment where he comes back into his apartment, and I about lost it. There’s also an envelope gag that was probably the most high brow joke I’ve ever seen from the Farrelly Brothers, but it was hysterical. While everything isn’t laugh out loud funny and there are a few moments where they go “full dumb,” there are consistent chuckles throughout, and nothing ever really bombed.

Where the movie starts to peter out a little bit is in the last third. Once Harry and Lloyd arrive at this conference you hit some lulls, and it becomes a little too plot heavy. There’s also too much time spent away from Harry and Lloyd. Come on, now. I’m here to see Harry and Lloyd, not unfunny camouflage gags with Rob Riggle. The supporting characters for the most part are pretty good though. Kathleen Turner does a good job at playing Fraida Felcher (Harry’s old girlfriend mentioned in the first film), and Rachel Melvin is pretty funny as Harry’s daughter. Melvin does a good job at emulating her genetic dumbness.

While I mentioned some lulls in the second half, there are some great twists at the end that are absolutely brilliant. And while the original Dumb and Dumber had one of the all time best endings, this one was no slouch either. It was pretty simple, but totally worked.

This was a nice return to greatness for the Farrelly Brothers, and momentum I hope they can carry over into their next project. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. This felt like a movie right of the 90’s, and just made me more aware of how lackluster the genre of comedy has become. If you loved the first movie, I can’t imagine you not liking this. Maybe you won’t love it as much as I did, but you’ll be glad you went. Screw it. I’d be down for a Dumb and Dumber Thre.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Great)

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Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.

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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.