Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Dumb and Dumber To</strong> (2014)

(On Cable TV, July 2016) There are many things I don’t like about stupid humour, and one of them is the way it curdles the older its practitioners are. Watching Jim Carrey and Jeff Bridges goof off in 1994 when they were in their thirties is bad enough, but seeing them act like big doofuses in 2014 when they’re in their fifties is adding a substantial layer of melancholy on something that’s already pretty sad. It gets worse considering how Dumb and Dumber To tries to bring in issues of fatherhood (flirting far too long with the stomach-churning idea of a character having designs on the other one’s daughter) in-between wasting one’s life on dumb jokes. The film starts badly, builds setpieces that aren’t as funny as the screenwriters think and sort of peters out at some point before the end. There are a few high notes, although one of them (the brief return of the iconic dog van) is notable in how quickly it speeds by. As in the original, dumb humour abounds, but very little of it has the kind of panache that made the first film so memorable and grudgingly funny. It doesn’t help that, in twenty years, the comedy zeitgeist has moved away from the original’s model. Carrey can’t very well return to the same kind of humour he did twenty years ago without looking ridiculous in unintended ways, while Bridges doesn’t completely abase himself. In that chaos of dumb taste, only Kathleen Turner emerges gracefully, although having one of the most level-headed characters in the film helps a lot. After so many modest efforts and all-out misfires, you’d think that the Farrelly Brothers would stop making movies at some point, but clearly the box office results show that I’m wrong and my opinions on the matter don’t mean anything. In the meantime, Dumb and Dumber To exists, and you only have yourself the blame if you end up watching it.

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