Dumb & Dumber To (2014) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug references
Running Time: 110 min.
Cast: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Kathleen Turner, Rachel Melvin, Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden, Steve Tom, Don Lake, Patricia French
Small role: Bill Murray
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Screenplay: Sean Anders, John Morris, Mike Cerrone, Bennett Yellin, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Review published November 14, 2014
Dumb and Dumber To, like its predecessor, Dumb & Dumber, and its prequel, Dumb and Dumberer, lives up to its name by being a whole lot of dumb. But it revels in its dumbness, to the point where it actually can be somewhat clever in the many ways its creators, Bobby & Peter Farrelly, come up with to draw out laughs at their characters' expense.
The plot (as if you care): Harry removes Lloyd from a psychiatric ward where he has been faking (for a gag) his insanity for nearly 20 years, and the two soon discover that Harry may have a full-grown daughter he conceived but didn't know about, which is very timely given that Harry is in need of a kidney transplant. Their research on her whereabouts soon leads them on a road trip to a conference where she is set to deliver a presentation of an invention given to the world by her father said to be revolutionary. Trouble is, the equally daft girl left the box containing the invention behind and Harry & Lloyd volunteer to deliver, not knowing that the mother and her lover have been scheming to surreptitiously kill off her hubby to enjoy his millions of inheritance, and they aim to get a hold of this contraption of his he claims to be worth billions.
So, while there are a number of funny moments, here's why I can't recommend this film. First, the run time, at nearly two hours, is far too long for a movie this slight in concept. Anything more than 95 minutes is asking for quite a bit, and given that the movie only begrudgingly has a plot at all, what we have is a collection of skit-like scenes of two characters doing idiotic things, which does tend to grow tedious after a bit since every joke has the same punch line -- these guys are unfathomably dumb. That the least funny and most overreaching (in terms of comedy) part of the film, in which the duo infiltrate a conference for geniuses by being mistaken for respected leaders in the industry, comprises of the film's final half hour only exacerbates the problem with the length, as the fatigue factor definitely will make many anxious for the closing credits.
The two leads, both in their 50s, are quite game for a good deal of physical comedy, doing many of their own stunts. Jim gets to return to his rubber-faced antics, while Daniels, normally a serious actor, seems to be having a great deal of fun in probably the only kind of broad farce he gets to do these days. It does take a few scenes to get used to their long-in-the-tooth appearance, but eventually, their characters do manage to take hold, and you forget the 20-year gap from the last time we've seen these actors fill the shoes of Christmas and Dunne.
There will no doubt be some viewers who will be disappointed that this sequel has been given a PG-13 rating, given that most of the jokes rely on raunchiness for their hilarity quotient. I have to say that I'm surprised at the generous rating, as this film is rife with crude and sexual content throughout, including many character names that, if one were to look for them in 'urban dictionary' would be considered borderline-obscene ('Felcher' being one of them), and such things as bestiality, fecal residue consumption, castration, and sticking one's hand into an elderly woman's vagina are part of the gags (the latter even made the nationally released trailer(!)). I guess rampant sex and potty humor are considered OK for your child's consumption so long as two F-bombs aren't used.
Some viewers will likely just be exuberant that a sequel was ever made, enough to forgive this film's many flaws, but, while funny for a while, most others not avowed fans will find this return to dick-fart humor wears out its welcome after a while, Maybe there's a reason to wait 20 years between sequels.
-- There is an additional scene following the end credits.
©2014 Vince Leo