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Review: Dumb and Dumber To struggles to remain relevant

November 21, 2014 11:41 IST

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber ToDumb and Dumber To seems to be desperately trying to carve out an audience for itself in a world that has moved on, says Paloma Sharma.

When the Farrelly brothers struck for the first time, with Dumb and Dumber (1994), they struck gold. Now, 20 years later, they strike again...

...and hit a sewage pipe.

Dumb and Dumber To opens in a mental asylum where Lloyd (Jim Carrey) has been institutionalised due to his inability to cope with being rejected by Mary Swanson.

Harry (Jeff Daniels) makes regular visits and takes care of him. However, on one such visit, Harry reveals that he has a severe medical problem. One of his kidneys is failing.

The two of them head over to Harry’s parents’ home - even though Harry had been kicked out of it 20 years ago - to find a donor.

Harry’s parents are unable to help him, but his father hands him a pile of mail that had collected over the last 20 years.

 The pile contains a letter from an old girlfriend, stating that she is pregnant and that the baby is his.

Lloyd figures that if the letter is from 20 years ago, then by now Harry would have an adult child with fully formed kidneys – one of which could be donated to Harry.

The duo, filled with hope, decide to find Harry’s long lost daughter and end up on a wild goose chase, unaware of who else is looking for her.

Dumb and Dumber To brings back everybody’s favourite pair of klutzes but for what reason I cannot tell.

For starters, it is a little awkward to watch two actors, for whom one has such respect, now in their fifties. Perhaps the whole charm of Dumb and Dumber was that both Carrey and Daniels were young and in that comedic space.

The two aren’t there any more and it becomes difficult to accept them as loveable goofballs. They just seem like creepy old guys trying to either recapture their youth or unable/refusing to move on.

This isn’t necessarily the fault of the actors or the filmmakers. It’s just that the sequel to the much loved Dumb and Dumber has come far too late and does not seem relevant any more.

 Much like its prequel, a majority of Dumb and Dumber To is spent travelling, finding a girl and being unaware of larger conspiracies.

The script follows the same formula as the first one and becomes exhaustingly predictable. Funny dialogues do pop up every now and then to save the day, but they aren’t nearly enough.

Even though Dumb and Dumber To has its share of funny moments, they are few and far between. If you can set propriety aside and have the ability to enjoy jokes about the human body’s many functions, private and otherwise, then you are sure to let out a laugh or two.

But most of the gags have been (over)used elsewhere and so, you find yourself silently mouthing the punch line instead of waiting for it.

The actors, the directors, the production quality and even, to a large extent, the script might be the same for both the films, but that’s where the similarities end.

Dumb and Dumber had an easy flow. Dumb and Dumber To seems to be desperately trying to carve out an audience for itself in a world that has moved on. Harsh as it may sound, Dumb and Dumber To seems to have been made purely because the studio needed to dish out something and this was probably the least-worst option.

Stale and struggling to remain relevant, Dumb and Dumber To doesn’t manage to be good enough to be applauded or bad enough to be laughed at.

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Paloma Sharma in Mumbai
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