Back in their heyday, the Farrelly brothers,Peter and Bobby, were household names when it came to raunchy comedy. Filling their movies with down-on-their-luck characters surrounded by wacky weirdos, they were on a huge winning streak. From their smash debut Dumb & Dumber to the cult favorite Kingpin to their biggest hit, There’s Something About Mary, the trio of hits were inarguable successes. Even Shallow Hal and Stuck on You have a sweetness to make the sick jokes go down easy.
Considering they made a second Jim Carrey vehicle was no surprise and Me, Myself & Irene showed their relationship with the plastic-faced funnyman worked. However, not everyone can keep pumping out the hits. Eventually came the underrated Fever Pitch, but then all they had in them were a remake of The Heartbreak Kid, Hall Pass, and their worst film to date: The Three Stooges. Thankfully, the Farrelly brothers have gone back to the drawing board and delivered Dumb and Dumber To — their first sequel — but does it live up to the 20-year-in-the-making hype? Mostly.
Two decades have passed and we catch up with Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Carrey) as dumb and lovable as ever. Harry has been visiting Lloyd in a psychiatric hospital all these years with Lloyd in a coma-like state after Mary turned out to be married at the end of the first film. Turns out, it was all a big gag. Harry takes Lloyd home to their old apartment where Harry has taken in a roommate to pay Lloyd’s half of the rent. Here, Harry spills the beans that he’s in need of a kidney transplant so they visit his parents. Only to find out he’s adopted.
But wouldn’t you know it, Harry finds a 22-year-old postcard from his old flame Fraida Felcher (Kathleen Turner) saying that she’s pregnant. Sadly, Fraida gave her daughter up, but Penny (Rachel Melvin) was adopted by the wealthy Dr. Pinchelow (Steve Tom). Our bumbling heroes try to visit Penny, but she has already taken off to a Ken Conference in El Paso, Texas. Now, Harry and Lloyd are on another cross-country trip to deliver a package for the doctor with his groundskeeper Travis (Rob Riggle) in tow, who has a nefarious plan with Pinchelow’s wife Adele (Laurie Holden) to kill them and steal the package claimed to be worth billions.
If Dumb and Dumber To has one thing going for it, it’s seeing Carrey and Daniels on screen together again. The two have a manic glee that’s infectious and, if you’re a fan of the first film, you should find a lot to love here. Is it a perfect movie? Of course not. Is it about what you’d expect from a Dumb sequel, even if 20 years late? Absolutely. Rob Riggle is just about the only other person in the cast who drums up laughs — and we get a twofer out of him with him playing Travis’ twin brother Captain Lippincott. Everyone else pretty much gets to play it straight, which is no surprise because we came to see the Harry and Lloyd show anyway.
There are plenty of nods to the first film — with an extended bit involving the blind, wheelchair-bound Billy (Brady Bluhm) who now has a rare bird collection in his apartment. This is definitely not one of those dreaded sequels that simply remakes the original. I wish the cameos listed on IMDB had made it into the finished film, but I won’t spoil them here as there’s bound to be an unrated Blu-ray edition. Which brings up the amount of lowbrow humor. The Farrelly brothers have never shied away from making audiences uncomfortable, but also for making you feel guilty you laughed at something, and this is no different.
Dumb and Dumber To feeds your inner child with huge doses of hilarious wordplay and childish antics. With Daniels and Carrey back in the lead, we can finally put that horrendous prequel behind us. This is as good of sequel we’re likely to get, and fans will be pleased. I should feel bad for admitting it, but as a Dumb man once said, “I like it a lot.”
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