By Darren Chan Keng Leong (Singapore)
Note: Minor Spoilers!
Dumb and Dumber To is the much anticipated sequel to Dumb and Dumber (1994) and is set after the events twenty years after its predecessor. I was skeptical at first in watching the film due to the time lapse between the first film and the second film. However, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels proved that they have still got the acting chops to pull off this film.
The movie starts off with Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) being visited by Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) in a psychiatric hospital. Lloyd has been in a daze, most probably suffering from severe depression after his failed relationship with Mary Swanson from the first film.
Harry has been diligently visiting Lloyd all these years, tending to him like a brother, but the two biggest reveals are that Lloyd was concealing his depression all along and it turns out that he has been perfectly fine and it was a big joke. Harry on the other hand, has to get a replacement kidney as he is suffering from kidney failure and has to find a match.
Harry and Lloyd proceed to Harry’s adoptive parent’s place to seek their advice but they are not able to accede to his request as they are not his biological parents. After saying their goodbyes, Harry chanced upon a letter from his old girlfriend, Fraida Felcher which is dated to 1991 to ask Harry to call her as she is pregnant. Believing that Harry might have a daughter, Lloyd suggests that they visit Fraida to ask her about the letter and the whereabouts of Harry’s daughter.
The film is similar to the road trip comedy films such as Harold and Kumar which is funny with jokes and it retains the old gag formula from Dumb and Dumber which audiences would enjoy. Jim Carrey’s and Jeff Daniels’ hilarious antics through the film makes it fun to watch them as they stumble through all sorts of awkward and ridiculous situations that would send audiences into fits of laughter. Much praise goes to Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels for bringing to life our two beloved characters with their child-like disposition to attract a new generation of fans and answering calls of older fans that grew up watching Dumb and Dumber for a sequel to see their comical characters again.
The storyline of the film captured the essence of the Lloyd and Harry as there are elements of the first film that are present in this film but they are only references, therefore audiences need not necessary have to watch the first film to enjoy the second film which is the winning formula cleverly devised by the directors, the Farrelly Brothers.
The jokes and gags in the film manage stay relevant enough to engage the audience and the music by Empire of the Sun gives an edge to the film to reinvent itself. It was great to see elements of the first film being referenced and it was nice to see the main antagonist of the film, Adele Pinchelow (Laurie Holden) of The Walking Dead fame stepping onto the big screen.
Lloyd and Harry dimwittedness and bumbling ways stays true to the essence of the film, but if the film gets another sequel, I would like to see the Farrelly Brothers pushing the character development up a notch so that the storyline stays fresh and that the jokes will not seem overused. The film delivers both respect and loyalty to both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels for stepping back into their character’s shoes despite having to have so many delays in making this sequel.
I felt that the main antagonist could have been more menacing as screen-time interaction was limited with the two main characters which diminished the presence of an obstacle for Lloyd and Harry to overcome. This would have made the two characters to use their skills to get out of situations as the film makes it too simple for both Lloyd and Harry to get out of tight spots.
Also, the Farrelly Brothers need to reinvent the film if they got the chance to do another sequel as the characters are suffering from exhaustion as times have changed and that the direction of the film should move with the times and not be stuck in the past. It needs a touch of modernity and it would be fun to see Lloyd and Harry get out of situations today which will be fitting close to two beloved characters which we saw on television and in the cinema.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film, even though some jokes might be a little too extreme and controversial but overall it got the whole cinema laughing and following the adventures of Lloyd and Harry as they try to process and explain themselves along the way. I would recommend the film for anyone who is looking for a good laugh and those that have not got a chance to catch Dumb and Dumber that it is a film that you will not regret watching.