Review: DUMB AND DUMBER TO (2014) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Friday, 28 November 2014

Review: DUMB AND DUMBER TO (2014)

2 stars
Other than the nostalgia factor and a playful cast, DUMB AND DUMBER TO is largely unfunny and creatively bankrupt sequel that should have gone back to the drawing board.

In the year of 1994 alone that began with ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE and THE MASK, then-rising comedian Jim Carrey was already at the top of the world. His winning streak continued with the highly successful release of DUMB & DUMBER that same year, which also marked the directorial debuts of brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly. That movie, of course, was one of Jim Carrey's most beloved and biggest hits in his career. And after twenty years since the first DUMB AND DUMBER movie, he finally returns with an overdue sequel that, frankly, supposed to happen a long time ago when he and the Farrelly brothers are still fresh at their creative heights.


At the beginning of the sequel, Lloyd (Jim Carrey) has been faking his insanity at the mental institution and manages to fool Harry (Jeff Daniels) big time for the last 20 years' worth of gag. After both of them getting back to their apartment, Harry reveals that he has a kidney problem and needs a donor as soon as possible. Their adventures begin when Harry learns he has conceived a child decades ago with Fraida Felcher (Kathleen Turner). Unfortunately, Fraida reveals she has already given away their daughter Fanny when she was a baby to renowned scientist Dr. Pinchelow (Steve Tom) for adoption. Fanny, who is now called Penny (Rachel Melvin) and she's already in her 20s. With the help of Lloyd, Harry is determined to reunite her long-lost daughter as they embark on a cross-country journey to the prestigious KEN Conference in El Paso, Texas, where Penny is going to accept an award on behalf of her adoptive father.

Meanwhile, there is a subplot involving Dr. Pinchelow's scheming wife Adele (Lauren Holden) and handyman Travis (Rob Riggle) trying to get their hands on a mysterious package which is worth of fortune. The only setback is that the package is under the care of Harry and Lloyd, who are supposed to deliver it to Penny after she has forgotten it in the first place.


Although both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are already in their 50s, they still manage to retain most of their goofy charms after all these years. You can sense they have a great deal of time reprising their roles with such manic energy, even though it's not as memorable as the first one. The supporting cast, including Kathleen Turner, Steve Tom, Lauren Holden and Rob Riggle, are equally worthwhile. But Rachel Melvin, who is mostly known for some of her works in TV series like Days Of Our Lives, Heroes, House M.D. and Castle, steals most of the show with a breakout performance showcasing her fine comedic talent as the mentally-challenged but lovable daughter Penny.


The only and truly laughable moment is the sequence in which Harry and Lloyd mistakenly thought that Penny's address is written at the return-to-sender mail, and ends up on a long journey drive, only to arrive at the wrong address.

The biggest problem with DUMB AND DUMBER TO is its inconsistent and tedious script -- credited to six screenwriters (!) including Sean Anders, Mike Cerrone, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, John Morris and Bennett Yellin -- which mostly misses the mark in terms of delivering a satisfying amount of good slapstick humour. Frankly, there is nothing really fresh or new to be found in this sequel after twenty years of long wait. It is basically a poor rehash that tries so hard to replicate the original formula from the road-movie genre convention to not one, but two wacky dream sequences. I still recalled how I enjoyed laughing at the dream sequence involving Lloyd and Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly) from the first movie. But sadly, the two dream sequences in the sequel -- one involved Harry, and another one is Lloyd -- are shockingly lame by comparison.

And despite clocking at a modest 109 minutes, the sequel feels overlong while Bobby and Peter Farrelly's direction are mostly pedestrian and lacking of strong creative hooks to sustain the overall running time.


As mentioned earlier, it is obvious that DUMB AND DUMBER TO is two decades too late for a sequel. At times, it does reek of desperation, especially for both Jim Carrey and the Farrelly brothers who tries to resurrect their fading careers by revisiting one of their most popular movies, only to result with an uninspired sequel which fails to tickle the funny bones like the first movie.

This review is written courtesy from TGV press screening *  

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