Much of the surprising depth that graced 1994’s Dumb and Dumber is missing here. Of course we didn’t have that naive ’90s charm, but the humor seems randomly scattered rather than strategically placed. Although the original may have just been a vessel for giving us a ton of humorous situations, it never felt like a sketch comedy show or a rapid fire of gags.
The chemistry between the two leads is still there, but the identity of the writers doesn’t seem to be. They play more to the concepts, rather than the characters on the screen. Many of the jokes aren’t a reflection of the characters’ dumbness, just humorous concepts. To me, the film is funny as a stand-alone comedy, but as a sequel to one of my favorite comedies, it doesn’t exactly do the trick. The style and tone differ greatly from the first installment. It’s just not quite as smart. The lines aren’t as quotable and the gags rely too much on gross-out laughs. It feels more like a project to make the writers laugh at their own jokes.
In the original film, the entire foundation of the movie is based on stupidity–the fact that the Harry and Lloyd don’t know how the world works. Here the situations aren’t naive-stupid, just adolescent-stupid.
Although, we have to realize that as beloved as the original movie is, it’s not without imperfections. But the jokes don’t make the story seem obsolete like this one does.
The bits don’t fall flat every time, but they feel a little more Seth MacFarlane-esque than desired. But it also has to do with the fact that we simply are no longer a society that welcomes slap-stick comedy with open arms–let alone 110 minutes of it.
I’m not one of the many people who hated the Dumb and Dumber prequel, and I think that I may have liked it a little more than this one simply because it attempted, although not perfectly succeeding, to mimic to style of the first film.
Humor has transformed a lot over the years. Not just humor, but what we expect from humor. It’s more improv-based now, and honestly Dumb and Dumber was ahead of its time in that sense. But instead of relying on the natural talents of their two leads, the writers decided to contrive every idea on the screen to the point where you feel like the actors don’t just get to do their thing.
In aiming to be more adult than the original, ironically the humor ends up being more juvenile. Dumb and Dumber paved the way for many films after it, but we have to realize that movies such as American Pie and Superbad have come out since then, and their influence may have guided the hands of these writers in exchange.
It’s missing a little bit of the charm from the 1994 classic, and for fans of the original you may be disappointed, but I would recommend you watch this movie out of loyalty to the first. It’s not THAT bad.