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…a lot dumber.

Lloyd and Harry reunite 20 years after their misadventure to Aspen to seek out the latter’s long lost daughter in hopes of gaining an organ. Each step of their journey brings them one clue closer to finding the offspring birthed by their mutual former flame Freida Felcher (Sidenote: This film is rated PG-13; do you even know what that word means??). Kathleen Turner plays the mother, and her fans will happily remember how much better she looked 20 years prior.

While the pair make ready to get on their way to meet the 22-year-old child in El Paso, Texas, a devious plot is once again afoot that places our heroes’ lives in danger. But of course, they do not know that. Luckily, the tone of the film diverts the audience from acknowledging the same as well. Rob Riggle steps in for Mike Starr as a temporary tag-along who falls victim to more than just the antics of Harry and Lloyd, whose gags have evolved from putting hot peppers on hamburgers to passing gas in a compartmentalized hearse and lighting fireworks indoors.

The real hilarity ensues when the triangle is complete with Rachel Melvin, who is a welcome show stealer as the next generation of dumb, even if her quirks could be misconstrued as sexist or misogynistic by the overly sensitive. Brady Bluhm makes a welcome return one thousand weeks later as Billy, the blind boy who bought a headless parakeet from Lloyd in 1994.

By comparison, slight modifications can be seen from the Farrelly’s film style which made movies like Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary cult comedy hits. An iota of more focus is put toward the subplot surrounding Penny, the aforementioned child, as she steps in to accept an award on behalf of her adopted father, a world-renowned scientist who has been suspiciously ill since remarrying. How will Harry and Lloyd fare this time around?

Ever watch The Hangover and The Hangover Part II or Tommy Boy and Black Sheep back to back? The same cast reunites to basically play the same story. Regrettably, lightning does not strike twice when the second verse makes too much of an effort to be the same as the first. A trend is easily noticed in Dumb and Dumber To where the same essential plot is followed, moving in slightly different directions in parts such as a train versus an upset ulcer or a science conference in place of an international preservation society meeting. Clearly, this movie was not made with new ideas in mind.

Here are some tidbits you may not catch if not watching closely: Swizz Beats has a brief appearance as a ninja leader in a fantasy sequence that does not come close to the humor of the previous film’s daydream of invincibility. Laurie Holden’s character has the same first name as the last character she played in a movie with Jim Carrey (2001’s forgettable The Majestic). Blink and you will miss the cameos of Bill Murray and Will Arnett.

The story is formulaic and ultimately predictable. On the other hand, the main actors clearly have fun with the script, which takes away from how dismally boring it might be were this not a Farrelly brothers comedy. However, credit deserves to be given where it is due. Easily could this lead to a spinoff movie or TV show for breakout star Melvin, who spent her early acting years with recurring roles on shows such as Days of Our Lives and Heroes.

A hospital scene at the very end will help any audience member identify where they stand with the movie: they were either blown away like Harry and Lloyd, confused like Penny and Freida, or just not with it at all like the doctor who sees no humor in the premise whatsoever.

It is not Peter and Bobby’s best, but not nearly their worst, and a fantastic diversion from that dreadful 2003 prequel. Unfortunately, this type of humor is becoming a bit too niche to maintain its freshness in modern cinema. The film itself is easily forgettable, with no real memorable moments that fans will act out later at the dinner table or during their own cross-country drives. While not a hit, this is still a far cry from a complete miss, and once again teens and college humor fans will probably not mind.

Directed by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly
Stars: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle, Rachel Melvin

About The Author

Contributing Writer

Herbert M. Shaw began writing movie reviews for his high school newspaper and hasn't stopped since. In 2005, his radio program "The Shaw Report" was started with WCDB Albany 90.9 FM in Albany, New York, and lives on with online streaming at www.wcdbfm.com. In addition to film and TV reviews, Herbert also covers a variety of pop culture events surrounding technology, gaming, and the arts. He has covered every single New York Comic Con since 2006, and writes an annual Oscar prediction guide.