Dumb and Dumber To
Posted November 15, 2014 by Daniel Hodgson in
This movie is what a bad first draft looks like, filmed, edited, and dumped into theaters. It’s painfully unfunny.
“I wish I had a camera, so I could take a picture of the look on your face right now,” a theater usher and friend of mine said as I walked out of Dumb and Dumber To. “You don’t have to say a word.”
But I do have to say a word. I have a lot of words about Dumb and Dumber To, almost none of them good.
Dumb and Dumber To is tasteless and aggressively stupid. Of course, it’s supposed to be tasteless and aggressively stupid, that’s the entire point of it.
Like the parody films of the last several years, Dumb and Dumber To is non-stop joke-telling. Airplane and The Kentucky Fried Movie told a lot of jokes, and all of them were funny. Dumb and Dumber To tells a lot of jokes, but almost none of them are funny. I think I laughed three times in a movie that is almost two hours of jokes. Unfunny, tiring jokes.
According to the Math of Comedy, a movie that has a high jokes-per-minute and a low joke accuracy equals a miserable, depressing experience. Dumb and Dumber To is painfully unfunny. I spent an extended period of time gazing at the theater’s exit sign, a symbol of hope while enduring this excrement, instead of watching the movie screen for whatever half-assed gag the filmmakers scribbled down. My mind shut down, and I just waited for it to end. It was a complete waste of time.
The problem isn’t that the humor is crude. I like crude. Give me Borat any day. The problem is that it’s lazy and predictable. Harry goes to a mental hospital, where Lloyd has been staying for the last 20 years because it didn’t work out between himself and Mary in the previous film. Harry tells him to snap out of it, but Lloyd is catatonic. “You gotta give me something here man,” Harry tells him. If you guess that Lloyd will perform some kind of bodily function, then you must have seen the punch line coming from a kilometer away. It’s like they consistently went with the first gag that came to mind. This movie is what a bad first draft looks like, filmed, edited, and dumped into theaters.
Or, they were actually going out of their way to be unfunny, as if to say fuck you to the audience once again, as they did with Movie 43.
I’m not going to lie. There is a funny scene in which Harry and Lloyd explain the rules of a car-trip game, which involves flatulence. I won’t explain the details and ruin a funny joke, a rarity in this almost unbearable experience. There’s another funny joke that involves the implications of solving world hunger. It showed thought and effort not found elsewhere in the script. There is, however, a scene in which Harry and Lloyd punch each other in the nuts. It’s an easy laugh, the kind of thing that guys will fall for almost every time (“That’s my purse!” I laugh just thinking about it). But somehow, the Farrelly Brothers managed to fuck that one up, too. They can’t even get a nut-punch gag right.
Plot summary? Are you kidding me? Two idiots prove there is such a thing as a negative I.Q, and it turns out they are both reverse geniuses. That’s what happens. (They do, actually, end up at a stand-in for a TED Talk. I’m guessing they couldn’t get the rights to use the conference’s real name.)
Before you take your children, consider that there is a scene in which Harry imagines what it would have been like to have raised his daughter. A growing-up montage follows, in which Penny gets her first period, depicted graphically (Harry solves the problem with a wine bottle cork). Have fun explaining that one to young children. And oh yeah, Harry puts peanut butter on his dick to get fellatio from the family dog. Great job MPAA. Keep up the good work.
To be honest, I’ve rarely found the sibling directors to be funny. I didn’t think There’s Something About Mary was all that, and that had Ben Stiller, one of my favorite comedic actors. But that’s the thing about the Farrelly Brothers. It’s not that they’re trying to get you laughing. It’s that they’re laughing at you.