The quick answer, pretty damn dumb. You might be hard pressed to find a comedy more beloved as Dumb and Dumber. The king of slapstick buddy comedies, lead by an almost too funny to believe Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Fans wanted a sequel then and never got one. Instead they had to be content with bad spin offs like a prequel and a cartoon series. Maybe if those spin offs were successful, we would have seen this earlier, but it seemed Harry and Lloyd were well past dead. However, almost 20 years later fans will finally get what they asked for so many years ago. Did it stand the test of time?
The story kicks off 20 years after the end of the first film. If you recall, the original Dumb and Dumber was an adventure for Lloyd to find true love. It doesn’t quite work out for him. As a result, he ends up in a mental institution. He is in a complete catatonic state, not communicating with anybody. Harry being his loyal friend visits him frequently, always hoping Lloyd will “snap” out of it. Finally, Lloyd starts to utter some words, and his very first words happen to be “Got Ya!”. he faked it for 20 years just for a gag, and that is our first reintroduction to the not so glamorous world of Lloyd and Harry.
Soon after they learn that Harry is in need of a kidney. They also learn that Harry fathered a daughter 20 years ago and she could be a potential donor.
Actually , ya know what.. I’m gonna stop there. I’m not gonna break down this plot any further. Does this movie have a story? Yes , but its pretty much just a vehicle to loosely do what they did in the first movie. Cross the country in search of a woman who has no idea they are even looking for her. This time around it is Harry’s daughter Penny, who loosely becomes a love interest for Lloyd. Let’s be honest, nobody is into this movie for the story. We all could care less, we just want to see Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels at their best… erggg dumbest? They deliver this in spades, and its a good thing and a bad thing.
The movie will likely make you laugh a few times. There will even be a few moments where you try to deny it. You’ll sit back in your seat, and try with all the courage of your convictions not to find something so grotesque funny. You’ve convinced yourself your above it, or it’s just not that funny anymore. 4 times out of 5, you’ll be right. It’ll get you on that 5th time though. They will find themselves in impossible situations and impossible conversations. They will handle all of those scenarios extremely poorly and that is the charm.
If we don’t care about the story, how were the performances? It’s really hard for me to judge because the film tends to be way over the top. I can’t differentiate between them acting badly intentionally or unintentionally. I think one of the reasons a sequel never came to light were the unwillingness of Carrey and Daniels to reprise the role. Not because they didn’t like the characters, but I feel like they had to know catching lightning in a bottle twice is a tall order. I’m still at a lost as to why they choose to now reprise the role. I can sort of see it for Jim Carrey. His attempts to be taken seriously as an actor have fallen flat. Amazing in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind , but all types of bad in The Number 23. If Hollywood won’t take him seriously he might as well go for broke in the stupid category and Lloyd is that character. Jeff Daniels has enjoyed some recent success on TV in Aaron Sorkins drama The Newsroom. It would seem he has the least to gain, but maybe that’s even more reason to return to Harry. It could even be plot for people to recognize his acting chops. His character in The Newsroom is completely different in almost every way possible. At the very least, you can tell they are having alot of fun. Fun is at the heart of this kind of movie. Dirty and slapstick.. absolutely but they just want to have a little fun. The supporting cast doesn’t get much to work with, they mostly spend their time wondering how Harry and Lloyd haven’t killed themselves yet via stupidity. You can probably make a montage of “WTF” faces from this movie.
Was this film good? Nope, it’s pretty bad if you ask me. However, even I have to admit, it was probably exactly what they were shooting for. It’s also why it took me so long to write a review for it. My initial feeling getting out of the theatre was “How could I spend money on that!?, What was I thinking”. Not to say, this is a movie that require alot of reflection, but sometimes things are what they are. I’m not gonna grade this movie on the same scale as Interstellar. I shouldn’t even grade it on the same scale as its original, which at this point is a cult classic. That wouldn’t be fair. It’s just another chapter int he life of Harry and Lloyd and it’s actually what you’d expect….. DUMB. Take with that what you will.