How many times have we seen a long dormant franchises come back and disappoint fans everywhere? “Indiana Jones”, “Terminator”, “Caddyshack”, and (for many) “Star Wars” are just a few examples of this trend. The original “Dumb and Dumber” is now 20 years old, bringing back that sense of charm and humor would prove no easy task. The last time we saw the main characters Harry and Lloyd on the big screen was in 2003’s horrendous prequel “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” (not however staring the original cast). Maybe the “Dumb and Dumber” franchise has already done that for us. “Dumb and Dumber To” proved up to the task…..of being better then the prequel? In that sense “Dumb and Dumber To” does not disappoint, however it does have several moments where the film really shines. This sequel has moments of hilarity and the chemistry between Jeff Daniels and Jim Carry still shines after these years apart. That being said “Dumb and Dumber To” misses more times then it hits, and the overdone slapstick humor hurts the creativity of the film while also giving us a laughably bad twist ending.
“Dumb and Dumber To” picks up after learning that Lloyd needs a kidney transplant. Harry and Lloyd go on another cross country adventure to track down Lloyd’s daughter that was given up for adoption years before. The adventure however, will prove to be not just a simple trip as a few want them dead.
When you talk about “Dumb and Dumber” you don’t usually think about the story. Sometimes it doesn’t make logical sense and is a bit too long but because we all loved the characters and it made us laugh so much, we didn’t care. It was the suspension of disbelief that we allowed ourselves to give into because we were having such a good time. Here though in “Dumb and Dumber To” you can’t quite give into that suspension of disbelief which makes the story suffer as a whole. Why? Simply because the movie isn’t that fun.
Like I wrote above “Dumb and Dumber To” actually has a couple moments that are hilarious and funny. I think most of that is owed to the chemistry that Jeff Daniels and Jim Carry share. Jokes that aren’t really that funny, get some chuckles because their back and forth comedic timing is so good Yet in between those moments that make you laugh there are long lulls where the jokes are missing their mark and even Daniels and Carry can’t make it work.
The first half of the movie is actually rather enjoyable; nothing great by any stretch of the imagination but certainly entertaining. Then once we hit the half way point in our journey, the jokes begin to subside. They begin to overdo slapstick humor as compensation. The original, although did contain plenty of slapstick, it was balanced with clever subtle humor that had more to do with dialogue then getting hit in the face every two seconds. When “Dumb and Dumber To” falls back on that, it’s a great time, when it doesn’t, the film falters.
Whenever the film’s script tries to push the envelope by making jokes about more controversial topics it feels rather out of place. It feels like they are trying to push that envelope for the sake of pushing that envelope. It never feels natural, instead its artificial.
So, now that the humor isn’t hitting the same notes as the original nor are we having much fun by the second half, as an audience member we’re less likely to give into that suspension of disbelief. The more and more we get away from that, the more and more the plot becomes problematic. You start to see holes in the story and they only grow bigger as time goes on. There are two twists at the end and one is classic “Dumb and Dumber” while the other makes the entire movie pointless. It’s a twist for the sake of a twist to kind of one up the original’s so called “twist.” Some other plot revaluations make other plot points feel awkward and strange.
Despite all of this I wouldn’t call “Dumb and Dumber To” a bad film, just a film with many flaws. Hardcore fans of the original will enjoy this more than others. There are plenty of throwbacks to the original that bring out the nostalgia in us while also not always repeating what came before it. For the rest of us though, the problems will be too numerous to forgive. “Dumb and Dumber To” isn’t painful to sit through and you might even enjoy yourself from time to time, but nothing about will make you want to come back, and watch it again, and that is a definition of a forgettable sequel.