There are many endearing and irresistible charms buried beneath the grotesqueries of a Bobby and Peter Farrelly film. Sans Dumb & Dumber’s entire creative life force, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that New Line’s Dumb and Dumberer allows the lame gross-out to trump all romantic poignancy. In Shallow Hal, the Farrellys remarkably nurtured the film’s one-joke premise for nearly two hours. Conversely, Dumb and Dumberer is so burdened by its time constraint (the film clocks in at a near endless 82 minutes) that any of its self-devouring gags quickly reach their expiration way before their all-too-familiar payoffs are announced. The filmmakers humorlessly rework Dumb and Dumber’s famous toilet break with chocolate-on-the-walls and have a surprisingly fresh-looking Bob Saget scream “shit” over and over again, as if the fact that his character is anal retentive wasn’t already enough. Criminal plots, romances and jealousies are introduced (and subsequently negotiated) in a matter of seconds. Save for a series of amusing gay jokes and a bizarre game of tag Harry (Derek Richardson) and Lloyd (an insane Eric Christian Olsen, whose loyalty to his character must count as the film’s one mitigating factor) play inside a convenient store, this witless freak show is so toneless it seems to have been put together at random. Director Troy Miller (Run Ronnie Run!) shows little confidence behind the camera and merely contents himself with a series of lame framing devices and numbingly literal visual effects. (Would the Farrelly Brothers ever have the audacity to evoke a brain freeze using corny CGI?) Miller begins and ends the film with a point-of-view shot that actively redefines the term “prequel”—not that the film has one clever or self-reflexive bone in its entire body, but it does seem to acknowledge that it’s merely a prenatal approximation of a more full-bodied specimen.
- New Line Cinema
- 86 min
- Troy Miller
- Robert Brenner, Troy Miller
- Eric Christian Olsen, Derek Richardson, Luis Guzmán, Eugene Levy, Rachel Nichols, Mimi Rogers, Cheri Oteri, Bob Saget
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