Movie Review: Dumb and Dumber To

The word “betrayal” has become synonymous with sequels for decades-old films. For me, the continuation to a movie I like requires my attention, regardless of reviews. And then I see it…

It is beyond disappointment when you wait 10 years only to have your expectations utterly destroyed. Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, Blues Brothers 2000, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and the Star Wars prequels are betrayals to everything fans stand for. These movies ruin reputations and beloved histories of franchises. Nothing inspires more anger than an installment that insults the original.

I’ve felt the pain of these films and the last thing I wanted to see was a sequel to a movie that was my childhood. But in the end, Dumb and Dumber To was actually okay. It wasn’t an insult, it didn’t try too hard, and it understood there was no chance of surpassing the original.

The story is as seen in the trailer:

Lloyd wakes up from a 20-year coma that turned out to be prank on Harry, who later reveals he needs a kidney. In pursuit of a donor, Harry finds out he has a daughter that could provide a viable replacement. And so the pair set out on a cross-country road trip for the kidney.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are the reason to see this film. Neither has lost a beat after 20 years; the chemistry renewed as the two bounce jokes off one another. They’ve also added little touches to their personas without changing the characters.

Spread throughout are homages to the previous film that don’t come off as recycled gags, but as winks to the fans. One scene is a love letter that quickly turns into an acknowledgement that the movie will never be as good as the first.

What kills the movie is a failure of juxtaposition. What made the first film funny was that Harry and Lloyd were cartoon characters in a world with realistic consequences. The comedy came from their interactions with reality, but when reality is just as dumb as the main characters, you create a farcical paradox where nothing works.

Though Dumb and Dumber To is not all that good, the characters make it worth a watch. If you just want to see Harry and Lloyd one more time, you’ll be pleased. But if you’re bored and have no interest at all, go see Interstellar.

 

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