1994. The year Jim Carrey became a comedy legend with the release of three of arguably his greatest films ever: The Mask, Ace Ventura, and of course, Dumb and Dumber. After becoming a classic in the comedy film space, years of rumors surrounding a sequel were talked about, and although a (less than admirable to say the least) prequel was made, fans still hoped to one day see the hilarious duo of Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne played by Carrey and Jeff Daniels back together for another adventure. 20 years later, we finally have our long awaited sequel with Dumb and Dumber To, a film which seems like a full length homage to the ’94 classic.
As with the original, ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ gets its laughs from what’s right in the title: being dumb. It’s immature, potty mouth comedy and while for some it might not make you laugh, it’s almost impossible to at least chuckle at some of the antics that Lloyd, Harry and company get themselves into. With a similar plot line as the original, Lloyd and Harry find themselves on another road trip which, as expected, is prime time for stupid, funny lines and actions to be delivered. The script unfortunately lacks a proper number of gags or much innovation like the original, but in all honesty, who expected that anyway? ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ won’t get you laughing with funny references or super explicit language. It gets you laughing while watching Lloyd furiously slurp down a hot dog or flashing Harry’s butt crack on screen. Though sometimes the heavy use of bodily functions for comedy or the gags with no punchlines get annoying, ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ was able to keep me entertained for the majority of the film’s 109 minute run time.
The writing may have been fantastic, but the real reason Dumb and Dumber made waves 20 years ago was due to the hilarious acting of now mega-star Jim Carrey and then hidden gem Jeff Daniels. The unlikely duo were able to develop a strong chemistry together and it worked wonders on screen back in 1994. I was skeptical on how the two would be able to rekindle their magic 20 years later and get back into character. But lo and behold, Carrey and Daniels were able to get back into character and display what their characters would have evolved into after 20 years. It’s hard to feel the same magic from the co-stars compared to 1994, but for what Carrey and Daniels were trying to accomplish with this film, you can’t help but pay respect. Rob Riggle joins the cast to add some comedic depth and we even see the long heard about, but never seen Fraida Felcher played by Kathleen Turner. Despite the lack of a solid script backing them, seeing Carrey and Daniels on screen together again is enough to see this movie and they are able to take the worn down script and make it mostly enjoyable, a hard feat to accomplish in the comedy realm of film.
So does ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ surpass the original? Of course not, and I don’t think anyone expected it to. What it does do, however, is bring a much-desired sequel to long time fans of the 1994 original. The script may be hurting in the form of variety or originality, but its many homages to the original as well as some new and funny antics of its own is enough to get you laughing. With Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels back, this is a true sequel to a beloved comedy classic. It might not have the magic it did 20 years ago, but let’s face it; ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ isn’t out to top its predecessor. It’s out to give fans a trip down memory lane, and pay it’s respects to a comedy classic.
7 out of 10 stars