‘Dumb and Dumber To’ certainly delivers on its premise in spades; it’s certainly Dumb, and sometimes even Dumber. To.
The Farrelly Brothers, with the help of a gaggle of writers, have doubled down on the dumb for this twenty-years-in-the-making sequel which yields a mixed bag of funny.
‘To’ follows its 1994 mainstay original and picks up for the most part right where that film left off. Mentally, these characters haven’t changed a bit and it really shouldn’t be any different. It’s established quickly when we bare witness to the tail end of a 20 year-long joke set forth by Lloyd (Jim Carrey), who has been committed to an asylum -catheter and all- for the mother of all “Gotcha!”‘s. Upon returning back from the mental hospital, Harry (Jeff Daniels) reveals to Lloyd that he needs a kidney transplant and also finds a postcard from an old flame revealing that he has a child that he never knew about. And so begins yet another road trip, in which Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber set off to track down Harry’s spawn in the hopes that she can donate a kidney for her wayward father.
The jokes in ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ come fast and furious, but end up misfiring more often than not, but those scenes end up being saved by its two stars. Take that opening mental hospital sequence. On the page it just lays there flatly, maybe a chuckle or two spring forth, but what makes the whole thing put a smile on your face is the dynamic between Carrey and Daniels. They slip back into their roles so smoothly that the past twenty years doesn’t even seem that long ago.
That feeling becomes status quo throughout the film as a familiar crime-plot unfolds unbeknownst to Harry and Lloyd in which Harry’s daughter’s (Rachel Melvin) adopted step-mother and lover (Rob Riggle) plots to kill her husband for his fortune. But we’re not here for the machinations of plot, are we? We’re here to laugh at a bunch of stupid gags, which continue their onslaught once Riggle tags along with Harry and Lloyd on their epic road trip. There are fart gags. There are slurpees down pants crotches. There are absurd dream sequences. There are catch-phrases.
Carrey and Daniels make it hard to truly dislike this movie despite knowing that it’s really not comedic gold. The story is transparent and the scenes are ham-fisted, even for a movie with this type of tone, but like Harry and Lloyd themselves, it’s hard not to love it. Carrey and Daniels are having just a shit-load of fun and that vibe pops off the screen and keeps the whole thing from sinking under the weight of its frequent unfunniness.
‘Dumb and Dumber To’ is a sequel that didn’t ever need to happen, but if it did, this was really the best-case scenario. Harry and Lloyd are back, and while we may not really need them, it’s nice to know that they’re around, even if they’re forcing us to hear the most annoying sound in the world.