Dumb and Dumber To review

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Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen Barack Obama take his seat in the White House, 9/11 and the war on terror, the rise of smart phones and social media, and we’ve seen Matthew bloody McConaughey win an Oscar. Also in that time, we’ve all got older. Those who were kids are now young adults, those who were young adults are now middle-aged. Those who are middle-aged, oh you get the picture. However, we may have all grown up, but you’ll be absolutely thrilled to hear that neither Harry (Jeff Daniels) or Lloyd (Jim Carrey) have at all, appearing back on our screens for the first time since 1994, in the Farrelly Brothers’ long-awaited sequel, Dumb and Dumber To.

In that time, Lloyd has been pretending to be mentally ill, pulling one committed prank across two decades, just to see Harry’s face when he is able to yell, “got ya!”. But Harry has news of his own, confiding in his best friend about his need for a new kidney. Realising that he needs to have one donated from a family member, he is excited to hear that he has a long-lost daughter, Penny (Rachel Melvin) with one-time lover Fraida (Kathleen Turner). So the pair set off on a trip across America, to find – and persuade – this young girl to give up an organ for a man she’s never met.

In the initial endeavour, part of the appeal was that our two protagonists were young, dumb and ridiculous – but now they’re a bit older, and as such it actually makes them seem a little more pathetic, which, in some ways, is even more endearing. They’re still just as stupid, asinine and juvenile as they have ever been, which is something of a relief, because were they anything else, this film would have been a disaster. Thankfully, it’s been left in good hands, as both Bobby and Peter Farrelly have an obligation to entertain; a responsibility to make their audience laugh: it’s the one rule of thumb they’ve abided by for their entire careers. In this sequel, their commitment to the cause is admirable, if a little inconsistent. Taking a scattergun approach to jokes, unrelenting in its approach, it is inevitable that you’ll be treated to a few belters, but what also comes with that territory, is a plethora of terrible, unfunny gags. But thankfully the good’uns are worth waiting for.

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Much like our protagonists, Dumb and Dumber To is one of the stupidest films you’ll ever see, but has a really good heart. It’s a tough challenge for the filmmakers to create a movie that is similar enough to the first to appeal to the same crowd and give the fans what they want, but then again be unique enough to justify the project, and to offer something new from the world of Harry and Lloyd – and you know, they’ve just about managed it.

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About Stefan Pape

Stefan Pape is a film critic and interviewer who spends most of his time in dark rooms, sipping on filter coffee and becoming perilously embroiled in the lives of others. He adores the work of Billy Wilder and Woody Allen, and won’t have a bad word said against Paul Giamatti.

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