In 1994 three films helped shape Jim Carry’s career and made him the household name that he is today. These films were Ace Ventura, The Mask and of course, Dumb and Dumber. As a younger kid, Jim Carry was my favourite actor and I loved rewatching his films. (Although I will admit, one of my favourite performances of his was actually The Grinch.) Out of the three film’s mentioned above however, I’ve probably seen Dumb and Dumber the least. But that’s not because it’s bad, on the contrary, many people view it as a comedy classic, and it’s not hard to see why. Carry and Jeff Daniels have great chemistry and there are too many memorable scenes and lines to count. A short-lived TV spinoff was made along with a terrible prequel in 2003, neither of which featured Carry or Daniels. But exactly 20 years later, fans finally got the sequel they were all anticipating, “Dumb and Dumber To”. Does it live up to the hype? No. But it will probably satisfy hardcore fans of the original.
So where exactly does Dumb and Dumber To fail? I think it tries too hard to be like the first one. It had a very similar set up, once again centering around another road trip and there’s yet another subplot involving two villains that follow the duo throughout the movie. I also felt like the characters of Harry and Lloyd sometimes acted a little TOO dumb. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, especially for a movie that’s called “Dumb and Dumber To” but hear me out. In the first movie, the stupidity of these two characters was still in the spotlight, but it was often presented in a clever way. This time, it’s just dumb humour for the sake of dumb humour, which can be funny sometimes, but not for a two hour long film. The comedy style reminds me of how Spongebob Squarepants started off as a naive yet lovable goofball but has since deteriorated into an obnoxious and loud idiot. That’s not to say that the film’s completely devoid of good humour, but it’s too few and far between. There are a lot of callbacks to the original film, but thankfully they don’t get in the way of the story too often.
The highlight of the movie is easily Jeff Daniels and Jim Carry’s chemistry. The duo are still fun to watch even to this day, and it’s clear that the two actors are having a blast reprising these roles 20 years later. The duo do provide some genuinely hilarious moments, but their novelty wears off about halfway through, and we are left with a very weak third act that feels slow (although I will say that the movie does end with a pretty funny and unexpected payoff.) The jokes range from juvenile gross out humour (which I really don’t like), to dirty and offensive jokes that only exist to give the film some edgy shock value. Big fans of the original may get a kick out of these jokes more than I did however, since quite a few of them are callbacks 1994 classic. Lots of characters that I won’t spoil return from the original as well. It’s just hard not to feel underwhelmed by the finished product, not only because a lot of the jokes feel lazy, but also because there’s been 20 years of hype and anticipation. Another problem I had was the length. A film like this does NOT need to be two hours long, yet Dumb and Dumber To clocks in at just under that. I was definitely feeling the time during the third act, and movie probably would’ve been just fine if it were an hour and a half.
The cleverness of the first Dumb and Dumber appears to be mostly lost here. There is still a charm in seeing Harry and Lloyd go on an adventure, and the jokes that work REALLY do work. Besides that however, I thought the film was overlong and uninspired. It’s not the worst movie of the year, but it’s not the grand and satisfying sequel that many were hoping for either. If you’re a hardcore Dumb and Dumber fan, there’s a good chance that you’ll find this entry worth your time, but for casual fans, this movie doesn’t have much to offer.