‘Dumb and Dumber To’ Review: Fun But Not Funnier Than Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber To with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels
© 2014 Universal Studios
I’ve never been a big fan of reviewing comedies. The genre is so subjective and even amongst close friends, reaching more than a respectful agreement to disagree can sometimes be difficult. However, in general, most people I know tend to agree with me that Dumb & Dumber is hilarious. And so I’m a bit apprehensive at the thought of weighing in on the long-delayed sequel, Dumb and Dumber To.

One thing to note is that like pretty much all comedies these days, if you’ve seen the trailer, you probably know too much already.  With that said, I should probably go ahead and mention that there were a lot of writers credited with a hand in the screenplay so it should come as little surprise that the movie does suffer from feeling a bit like a lot of sketches loosely thrown together rather than a coherent film with organically derived comedy.  It’s also up to each of you to decide if the multiple rehashed jokes from the original are more of an homage or a bit lazy.

For me, what was really important is that Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) maintained the chemistry they shared 20 years ago. To that end, the film succeeds.  Decades may have passed but these two haven’t gained one iota of common sense … and that’s a good thing.  Just as important, any pettiness in their antics comes from a place of joy, and not spite; which is important considering some of their pranks go far beyond the lines of decency and compassion.
As you may know from the trailers, the movie’s overall plot concerns Harry receiving a postcard stating he’s a Dad.  So he and Lloyd go off on an adventure to find his child.  Hijinks ensue.  There are numerous callbacks, and for me, they worked far more often than they failed.  Especially nice was the return of Billy the blind kid, and the discovery of the second most annoying sound in the world.  As for one callback I was hoping would be made but wasn’t in the feature itself (and won’t spoil for you), stick around until the very end of the credits and reap a small reward for sitting through a significantly larger cast and crew list than one might have thought was needed on a production such as this.
As no road trip with Lloyd and Harry would be complete without a passenger to feel tortured by their antics, Rob Riggle enters the fray.  It’s not Riggle’s most outlandish role (Step Brothers being perhaps my favorite of many), but the first half of his involvement in the movie plays quite well.  This of course means there’s a second half I’m not so enamored with but I’ll spare you that spoiler as well.
In the end, I have to say that I did like Dumb and Dumber To.  It lags a bit in the middle, but not nearly as badly as Anchorman 2, and considering the overwhelming expectations I came out with a smile on my face.  Is it as good as the original?  Of course not.  It’s not even all that close and I can’t see myself quoting this movie ad nauseum as I still do to this day with the first film.  But the sequel is still funny in many moments, and it was simply fun to revisit with these beloved characters.  And who knows?  I honestly didn’t fall in love with Dumb & Dumber the first time I saw it in theaters.  It took a few more viewings in the home market to truly appreciate what was going on.  Maybe that will happen here. I doubt it somewhat.  But maybe.

Dumb and Dumber To is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, partial nudity, language and some drug references.