In 1994, everyone fell in love with the incredibly stupid yet adorable duo of Harry and Lloyd. They crashed cars, they ogled at girls and they even punched each other in the crotch. It worked because their antics were hilarious, the script was great and the actors lent their own personalities to the characters. Dumb and Dumber To retains all these characteristics from the original but fails to recreate the magic again.
When Harry (Jeff Daniels) learns that he has a daughter (Rachel Melvin) living with an adopted family, he sets out with Lloyd (Jim Carrey) to find her. But he really wants to meet his kid for her kidney (his words, not mine). On their journey, they annoy everyone with their dumb capers before they finally meet her. That’s pretty much it. Any amount of complexity and layers that the directors try to add are just extensions for another gag. This will make you cringe sooner or later.
There are a few bits that make you laugh. But like everything else in the film, they never really materialize. Bobby and Peter Farrelly set up a funny premise and don’t go anywhere with it. So what you are left with is a sense of apathy, where you look for even the most mundane things to laugh at. The biggest blunder that the writers commit is trying to mix slapstick with edgy humor. At one point, a character exclaims, “I didn’t come out of the closet after 34 years to go back into one with you.” Ugh!
On paper, it must have sounded like a great idea to bring the duo back together and put them in weird situations. But here’s the thing: In the early `90s, both Carrey and Daniels were young actors who could experiment with roles. Fortunately for them, it worked. But 20 years down the line, the two are merely playing caricatures of their younger selves, while trying to make sense of the horrible story-line.
Despite the fact that everything around him is failing miserably, Jim Carrey still stays true to the character and delivers a decent performance. Jeff Daniels supports him in equal measure to give us some funny moments. And then there is Rob Riggle‘s dual role, where he comes across as utterly disinterested.
Finally, the second half of the film is so bad, I stayed back and looked for Sajid Khan’s name in the end credits. And that’s saying something.
Why should you watch the film?
Watch this film only if you are a fan of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, and would love to see them again in roles that made them famous. The comedy isn’t fresh, but you will laugh at some parts. Don’t go with high expectations and as is the trend with most comedies these days, ‘leave your brains at home’. That should work.