Two hours is a whole lot of dumb. So in that respect "Dumb and Dumber To," starring the off-the-chain, goofballing
The sequel's definitely been dumbed down, which is not really an issue. If you buy a ticket to a movie called "Dumb and Dumber To," dumb is precisely what you expect, want and possibly need.
But what felt fresh in Peter and Bobby Farrelly's original "Dumb and Dumber," with the Carrey-Daniels dense duo channeling the Stooges and Jerry Lewis and something else entirely, feels strangely old-fashioned two decades later. Hollywood wasn't specializing in stupidity so much in 1994.
Now we live in a time when dumb buddy comedy has become an entire strain of filmmaking, and a hugely profitable one. It includes three "Hangovers" and nearly everything
Carrey's Lloyd Christmas and Daniels' Harry Dunne bring us back to a simpler dumb-buddy time in "Dumb and Dumber To," again directed by the Farrelly brothers.
If you've seen the trailers — can anyone escape them? — you know that Lloyd's finally come out of his fake coma, a 20-year gag that Harry deems "awesome." The two guys pick up where they left off, older but no wiser.
Harry's living in the same dumpy apartment with two significant changes — his new roommate makes meth, and the blind boy who bought the guys' headless dead parakeet in the first film has grown up and is now surrounded by a flock of exotic birds.
But with the sheer number of cooks in the "Dumber To" kitchen — it's written by Sean Anders,
There are all the expected blind jokes, fart jokes, pee jokes and poop jokes. Flashbacks to Harry changing Lloyd's adult diapers during the coma phase become a running gag.
The occasional shot of the top of Harry's derriere, such a hoot in the first, feels impossibly tame in a time when showing your Calvins is passe and
The reason for the road trip this time, other than to provide different locales for all the slapstick silliness and the return of the mutt-mobile, is Harry's medical condition. He's in need of a kidney transplant, and an old postcard from ex-girlfriend Fraida (Kathleen Turner) informs him that he fathered a daughter years ago. Penny (
Enter the villains and the reasons the guys are once again at risk of being killed. Suffice it to say that instead of a briefcase filled with cash, this time they're transporting a box filled with a billion-dollar scientific breakthrough.
Lloyd and Harry are soon racing against time, headed to a scientific convention in El Paso, where Penny's picking up an award for her Nobel-winning adopted dad (Steve Tom).
The production value of "To" reflects the bigger budget that the follow-up to a surprise hit often brings. As it happens, though, more money doesn't make all that much difference in executing a fart joke.
One of the charms of the "Dumb" routine is the way it lets Carrey go wild. His comic streak is a mile wide, and the Farrellys use every inch of it. Whether he's dousing a chili pepper burn with huge squirts of ketchup and mustard or honestly just standing, smiling or talking, Carrey is mind-blowing to watch.
After a recent string of films characterized by more misses than hits, it's good to see the actor back at the top of his game, contorting that rubber mouth into impossible grins and grimaces before breaking into some manic yuck-yuck-yucking, or using those rubber legs to make one unforgettable entrance after another.
Daniels, destined to play second fiddle in the first, feels like he's moved to third in "To." In part it's a function of a super amped-up Carrey. But some of the blame rests with
Before "Dumb and Dumber," Daniels was known for the subtler brand of comedy we saw in
To his credit, Daniels tries his best, but when it comes to dumb and dumber, Carrey is better.