“Dumb and Dumber finally got the sequel we’ve been waiting for for 20 years (that prequel that came in the meantime doesn’t count). It’s a little weird having such a huge time gap. Has that even happened before? For me, the long break seemed to fix some of the standard sequel issues (although not all could be avoided) but it also created its own problems. I love the original. It’s this great mix of clever and dumb comedy that’s just brilliant, especially in the hands of Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels. Okay, I really don’t think I need to sell this to you. You already knew all that, yeah?
Right, so it’s 20 years later. The boys have spent this whole time with Lloyd recovering from a mental breakdown over the incidents of the first film. Turns out, it’s just been a ridiculously long prank from which he finally releases Harry. Harry, however, has his own medical issues, and is in need of a kidney transplant. In trying to figure out who they can hit up as a donor, the duo finds out that Harry’s former flame Freida had his daughter and gave her up for adoption. Our witless heroes hit the road in search of her, and her kidneys.
Right away, the issue with sequels is always the balance of throwbacks/familiar vs new/different. Most of the time, if you’re referencing a joke that was made in a film three years prior, it feels a little trite. The advantage we had here, was that every referenced line or sight gag had a twinge of nostalgia. Yes, we do remember that bit! OMG I’ve been laughing at that scene for 20 years! However, maintaining similar set ups (road trip with a shady third wheel) does feel a bit like they weren’t trying. That’s where the deviations should have happened.
Carey and Daniels have still got it, although they have aged considerably. It’s one thing to see some young idiots running around, but it gets kinda sad when they’re older men. And a little bit creepy. Still, they’re quite young at heart, and their charisma usually carries it thru. That mix of clever/dumb is still there, where they say something that makes them sound like total dunces, but you realize that whoever wrote that line was actually quite brilliant. It does veer into the uncomfortably awkward sometimes, but so did the original. The question is whether this will stand the test of time as well as that did. I’m a little skeptical, but then again, I didn’t think much of it the first time around either.
Dumb and Dumber To – \m/ \m/ \m/”