The Three Stooges (1 star)

The Three Stooges

The Farrelly Brothers' homage to the original threesome is dim-witted and lame

Reviving The Three Stooges for modern audiences has long been a labour of love for the Farrelly brothers but, sadly, the film that results is the type of dim-witted comedy that makes their own Dumb & Dumber look sophisticated.

Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso step into the shoes of, respectively, Moe, Larry and Curly and work their socks off trying to capture the mannerisms, vocal style and slapstick pratfalls that made the original trio such a success in the '30s. But they are let down by a script that short-changes them on laughs and which comes badly unstuck attempting to combine the trio's old school humour with a more contemporary approach.

The Farrellys do attempt to acknowledge the short nature of the Stooges' original films by dividing the movie into three episodes but even these feel stretched, while the through story finds the siblings attempting to save their beloved orphanage and inadvertently stumbling into a murder plot. Admittedly, the jokes are designed to be stupid and appeal to the most juvenile minds but the constant bickering, eye-poking and face slapping between the brothers quickly wears thin, while broader attempts at comedy feel strained and borrow a lot from other, better films.

Far from paying respectful homage to the memory of the original Stooges and potentially encouraging a new generation of viewers to revisit them, this lame comedy may leave them wondering what the fuss was all about in the first place. It’s incredible to believe that this was originally set to be a star vehicle for Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Jim Carrey.

General release from Wed 22 Aug.

The Three Stooges Official Trailer #1 - Farrelly Brothers Movie (2012) HD

The Three Stooges

  • 1 star
  • 2012
  • US
  • 1h 31min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
  • Written by: Mike Cerrone, Bobby Farrelly
  • Cast: Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso
  • UK release: 22 August 2012

The Farrelly brothers attempt to revive the Three Stooges for modern audiences. Diamantopoulos, Hayes and Sasso work their socks off, but the script is strained and unoriginal and the constant bickering, eye-poking and face-slapping quickly wear thin.