Be warned: this is a movie meant only for hardcore fans of the 1994 original, and other moronic comedies in which plot, character and filmmaking coherence aren't important. If any fart joke makes you laugh, don't miss it. Everyone else probably already knows that they should avoid this movie, which is even more idiotic than it looks. Although for those forced to suffer through it, there's at least a strand of witty, absurd comedy faintly running through each scene.
After an utterly pointless 20-year practical joke, old buddies Harry and Lloyd (Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey) are once again a team, causing chaos everywhere they go due to their inability to understand pretty much anything that's happening around them. Now Harry needs a kidney transplant, just as he discovers that he fathered a child with Fraida (Kathleen Turner) nearly 23 years ago. So he and Lloyd head off to find his daughter Fanny (Rachel Melvin). She has been raised by a Nobel-winning scientist (Steve Tom) and his money-grabbing wife (Laurie Holden), who's plotting with the handyman (Rob Riggle) to steal his millions. All of them converge on an inventors' convention in El Paso, where Harry is mistaken as a genius, Lloyd falls in love with the wrong woman and everything climaxes in a vortex of mistaken identity and wacky slapstick.
While absolutely everything about this film is painfully stupid, filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly have learned from making solid comedies (like There's Something About Mary and Stuck on You), and the script has an underlying wit to it that hints at a much better movie screaming to get out. But the Farrellys simply leave everything as mindless as possible, using a strangely clunky directing style that feels cheap and underplanned. While there's a steady stream of amusing throwaway gags, the plot and characters never develop into anything engaging, mainly because both Carrey and Daniels are encouraged to overplay every moment so badly that we begin to wonder how anyone could think this was even vaguely funny.
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As a debut, it did exactly what it needed to do: It announced the director's intentions in film. The Farrelly brothers wanted inspired vulgarity, laughs mixed equally with disgust. And for awhile there, they had it; Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin, and There's Something About Mary were pioneering efforts in the history of gross-out cinema. Lately, however, the Farrelly Brothers have become tame and inoffensive, bothering themselves with misguided causes (Shallow Hal) and dull remakes (Fever Pitch). Peter, Bobby, we need you back, and in a hurry.
Continue reading: Dumb & Dumber Review
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