Dumb and Dumber To
Hit-and-miss sequel from the Farrelly brothers featuring returning star Jim Carrey
Twenty years have passed since Dumb and Dumber provided Bobby and Peter Farrelly with a box-office smash. Since then, their brand of comedy has become something of an endangered species, with both the writer-directors and star Jim Carrey no longer guaranteed hits. This reteaming only recaptures the magic intermittently.
Harry (Jeff Daniels) has spent two decades looking after his best friend Lloyd (Carrey), who has been in a catatonic state since the failure of his romance. When Lloyd snaps out of it he claims he’s been faking his friend out in a ridiculous fashion, and the two imbeciles set off on a road trip to find Harry’s daughter Penny (Rachel Melvin) in the hope of her providing Harry with a kidney transplant. The journey takes them to a KEN conference (a parody of TED talks), where they are mistaken for high-level scientists and Harry is allowed to judge an invention competition.
The Farrellys' best work marries their sight-gag inventiveness with genuine humanity. Dumb and Dumber To feels like a backwards step, retaining the signature bad taste but losing the heart. There are, however, plenty of simple, effective gags – including a meth-addicted cat, a hit-man with an improbable ability to disguise himself, and a neat bit of business where temporary deafness leaves Harry and Lloyd oblivious to an oncoming freight-train.
While Dumb and Dumber To has as good a laugh count as the original, the plot about mistaken paternity and complex schemes of Penny's adoptive family offer too much contrivance for not enough pay-off. Early on, Lloyd announces that, ‘comedy is all about timing,’ sadly it feels like this sequel has arrived a little too late.
General release from Fri 19 Dec.