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Film Review

Just dumb

11/19/2014

“Dumb & Dumber To”Dumb and Dumber To

Rated PG-13

110 Minutes

Starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels

Cinemark 20 showtimes: 10:40 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 1:35 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 5:50 p.m., 7:20 p.m., 8:45 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10:15 p.m.

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“Dumb and Dumber To” marks the return of two of the Farrelly brothers’ most iconic characters: Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, played by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, respectively. The film takes place 20 years after the events portrayed in “Dumb and Dumber,” and we find that the Farrelly’s pair of merry idiots haven’t changed one bit. This sequel (actually the third film in the franchise) follows Harry and Lloyd as they embark on a cross-country trip to “oh my God I can’t do this anymore.”

This film is monumentally stupid. The Farrelly brothers start us off with a visual catheter gag, move from there into a joke about a cat’s butthole, and that is about as high as the comedy levels go. There’s nothing contained in the ensuing 110 minutes that is redeeming enough to make the film worth either your time or your hard-earned money.

The biggest issue that plagues “Dumb and Dumber To” is its writers. Once considered to be on the cutting edge of transgressive, gross-out humor, the Farrellys have simply gotten old. They are like the guy who was super popular in high school, then you see him a couple decades later and he is still going to the same places, doing the same things, because that’s what made him cool in the first place. There’s still a place in this world for dumb, zany-for-zany’s-sake humor. But with this completely unnecessary sequel, the Farrellys aren’t even trying to keep their ideas current.

The plot, such as it is, exists solely to push Harry and Lloyd (played with the same reckless abandon by Carrey and Daniels) from lame joke to lame joke. There’s a plot line centering around Harry needing a new kidney, and if you don’t see the ending coming from a mile away, then you probably fell asleep in the middle, much like the guy behind me did at my screening.

Daniels and Carrey make the best of what they’ve been given. They play their characters to the hilt, and while even their considerable talents aren’t enough to save most of the jokes, they’re clearly having fun with the parts, and that is literally the only redeeming quality the film has. The rest of the cast is rounded out by a completely lost-looking Rob Riggle (“The Daily Show”) and Kathleen Turner, who is clearly just counting down her minutes of screen time until she can go cash the check.

But, again, all of the film’s ills come back to the writing. Time has passed the Farrellys by, and they seem to be as oblivious to that fact as Harry and Lloyd are about just about anything. I didn’t laugh until 18 minutes into the film. I counted two other genuine laughs the rest of the way through. There would have been one more, but by the time it came around I was so spitefully angry at the film I refused to give it the satisfaction of my laughter.

Jeff Daniels is a woefully under-appreciated actor, and it is marvelous to see Carrey returning to his slapstick-ey roots after a few halting attempts at being taken seriously. But after 20 years, “Dumb and Dumber To” was a sequel that absolutely nobody was clamoring for, and the result is a useless, unlikable, blatantly cynical cash-grab that will (if there is any justice at all in this world) stand forever as a black mark upon the souls of all those involved with it.

Kirk Cameron has a movie out this week about saving Christmas from the horrors of an overly-secularized society. Go to that instead; it is bound to be funnier than this crap. CV

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