Dumb and Dumber To

Dumb and Dumber To

A joyous return to form after the – frankly pretty boring – misfire that was Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. The only thing I can recommend about that was Eric Christian Olsen’s take on Lloyd Christmas, which was hampered only by the fact that he was given absolutely nothing to work with.

Dumb and Dumber To is not going to set the world on fire. No matter how good it is, it will never connect with audiences in the same way the original did. I liked it, and I don’t return to it. That’s just the way the world is these days, and none of us has 20+ years’ worth of affection for it. And the truth is it’s not quite as good as the original. 

But the main threat to this movie’s unadulterated enjoyment is unrealistic expectations – we want it to hit all the same G-spots the first time around, and hopefully hit them harder. We’re completely unaware of our own experience of giving the original time to bed in and grow, and we never learn from the disappointments of sequels past. I say ‘we’ in the general sense – I learned that lesson ages ago and have managed to train myself to avoid most of these pitfalls, but I ‘get’ it. I also find it frustrating that others don’t, or can’t. And it’s a shame, because ultimately the goal of this film is to have a good time and make you laugh. It works a whole lot better, just in terms of pure enjoyment, if we take those rods out of our arses first.

The only bad mark I’d strike against the film is its constant references to the first. Retreading the same jokes is lazy and opens the film up to unfavourable comparisons. To should have the confidence to do its own thing and not be afraid to forget about the original – it’s got the chops, and the freshest material here makes up the best parts of the film.

I’m enthusiastically recommending Dumb and Dumber To. The “not as good as the first one” negative reviews sting a little because I feel like they’re not giving it a proper chance without all the baggage. So my advice would be to go into it without that baggage, if you can, and see it for what it is.

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