Cary, NC — It took two decades, but the sequel to Dumb and Dumber has finally arrived. It’s a rarity for any sequel to ever live up to its predecessor, but even more so for comedy. So while it was a foregone conclusion that Dumb and Dumber To would never be as good as the first film, it still made me laugh throughout, and I was more than grateful to take another trip with these goofballs.
Dumber 2: Not Just a Cash Grab
I was 8 years old in 1994, the year Jim Carrey broke out with Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask. So it’s safe to say that I grew up adoring the man. The last few years haven’t been as successful for Carrey, but even with a few duds (and also a few great smaller films like I Love You, Phillip Morris), I still can’t help but love the comedian. I find myself hopeful anytime he returns to comedy.
Sure, it might seem like an easy cash grab to do a sequel to one of your most successful films–especially when you need a hit. But with the original duo and with returning writer/directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Dumb and Dumber To seems to come from a genuine interest in returning to these characters, which helps keep the movie from feeling like everyone was just trying to catch a quick and easy payday.
Carrey And Daniels Still Just As Funny
Of course, it helps that the movie is also pretty funny. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels slip back into their roles as Lloyd and Harry like no time passed whatsoever. Like in the original, Carrey’s rubber faced persona earns most of the big laughs, and I must admit that it was especially joyful to see one of my favorite comedic actors be so silly again.
But I’m most impressed with Jeff Daniels. Daniels’ career post Dumb and Dumber has mostly been filled with strong dramatic work with projects like The Newsroom and George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck. Obviously, it’s not surprising that Daniels can be funny, but here he just seems so eager to do anything for a laugh, whether it’s rolling down a hill or showing more of his butt crack than anyone wants to see. It’s an absurd performance from a great actor.
Even with the nostalgia factor, it’s hard to deny that for every joke that lands in Dumb and Dumber To, there’s at least one or two that doesn’t–a worse average than its predecessor. Part of the problem, I think, is that the original seemed to take place in the real world. A lot of the comedy from the first film came from how normal, everyday people reacted to these two real life cartoon characters. In the sequel, though, everyone seems to be just as dumb as the lead characters, which takes a lot of the fun out of things.
There’s also an over-reliance on jokes from the first movie, which is one of the most common mistakes of comedy sequels. It’s especially annoying since earlier this year another comedy sequel, 22 Jump Street, brilliantly made fun of other comedy sequels for being too scared to stray from a proven formula.
Worth Seeing As Long As You Liked Original
Still, I found myself laughing during Dumb and Dumber To more often than not. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels still make for a good team, and while the movie couldn’t top its predecessor, it felt good to be laughing at these two guys again. If you’re a fan of the original, you’ll find plenty to like here.
Jordan Hunt covers the movies for CaryCitizen. Read more Movie Reviews.