There are just some things in life you should know well enough not to try. Deep-fried iced beverages. Jumping naked onto a rusty, worn bicycle that doesn't have a seat. Bringing the slapstick antics of a long-gone-but-well-remembered vaudeville comedy group into contemporary times. Sadly, there's always one schumck somewhere who is willing to undertake such a brainless act. In the case of The Three Stooges (2012), there are two schumcks behind this dim-witted cinematic sabotage: siblings Bobby and Peter Farrelly.
Yes, the same guys who made Kingpin and Dumb & Dumber somehow felt we needed a modernized spin on the timeless routines Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard (et al) perfected onstage and on-screen during the '30s and '40s. Their decision was a bad one, of course: it seems that, instead of paying any sort of real respect the real Three Stooges deserve, the Farrelly Brothers have simply found a way of making Larry, Moe, and Curly's classic childish antics into barely sophomoric crude jokes.
Did we ever see the original Stooges literally engaging in a pissing contest, utilizing an entire ward of newborn babies as their source of endless ammunition? No, we sure as Hell did not. Would we have seen something like that happen if the Hayes Code hadn't been around to prevent such a thing? The answer is still a big firm "No," my friends — and that's because even the laziest gag writer at Columbia would have had more class than that even if he were drunk off his keister on the first Friday night after Prohibition ended. Sadly, even the Farrelly Brothers are so immature that they cannot resist the urge to employ such juvenile toilet humor.
It gets far worse, people. The story here — which is divided into several chapters (akin to the old two-reelers of yesteryear) — finds Larry, Moe, and Curly dropped off at a Catholic orphanage (um, the Stooges were Jewish…?) as wee lads, growing up to become three incompetent maintenance guys at the facility because no one ever wanted to adopt the trio of terror. Moving out into the real world to raise money when the orphanage is on the verge of shutting down (yes, just like in The Blues Brothers), the boys meet up with an old pal (Kirby Heyborne) whose scheming wife (Sofía Vergara) is plotting to off along with her secret lover (a very embarrassed Craig Bierko).