DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD
***1/2 (out of 5)
June 13, 2003
Eric Christian Olsen as LLOYD CHRISTMAS
Derek Richardson as HARRY DUNNE
Luiz Guzman as RAY
Rachel Nichols as JESSICA MATTHEWS
Mimi Rogers as MRS. DUNNE
Eugene Levy as PRINCIPAL COLLINS
Cheri Oteri as MS. HELLER
Directed by: Troy Miller
BY KEVIN CARR
As the credits rolled on “Dumb and Dumberer,” I looked to my friend who was sitting on my right and said, “Actually, that wasn’t that bad.”
Now, don’t take this as a glowing review for the film. It wasn’t that good either. But with advertising tag lines like “Opens Joon 13” and “They’re young, they’re fun, they’re full of dumb,” I went into the screening bracing myself for it to really, really, really suck.
Of course, this also doesn’t mean that New Line Cinema should have made “Dumb and Dumberer,” either. However, in some ways New Line is in the business of making movies that really won’t be all that good but are fun to watch (like the upcoming “Freddy vs. Jason,” which I’m sure will be a terrible movie but a cool ride nonetheless).
Usually when a sequel comes out in which the only mention of the original filmmakers is the suspicious “Based on characters created by” credit, it usually stinks to high heaven. (Of course, this isn’t always true. The odious sequel to the rather decent “Cruel Intentions” was written and directed by the same guy – but then again, he also helmed the truly horrible “The Sweetest Thing” as his follow up.)
I won’t waste your time going too deep into the plot because frankly there isn’t much of one and it really isn’t all that important. Just realize that Harry and Lloyd meet in high school and are tapped by the corrupt principal (Eugene Levy) and his lunch lady mistress (Cheri Oteri) to be ambassadors to a bogus special needs class in order for the principal and the lunch lady to embezzle the special needs funds and move to Hawaii.
Sound dumb enough yet? Well, no one ever suggested this film would be Shakespeare. Used only to string together scenes of stupidity, the plot is nothing more complicated than a mutated “Brady Bunch” script and about as thought-provoking as a re-run of “America’s Funniest People.”
“Dumb and Dumberer” is a hazy shadow of the original. The magic found in the first film is lost on this excursion mainly because Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are nowhere to be seen. Sure, Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson both give commendable impressions of Carrey and Daniels, but there was a lot to live up to.
Also missing from this roster are the Farrelly Brothers, who created the title characters. After all, why would the Farrelly Brothers want to touch a “Dumb and Dumber” prequel when they’re busy with their “Dumb and Dumber” remake – the upcoming “Stuck on You” (featuring not-so-subtle rip-offs of their own movie, complete with Matt Damon’s bowl cut and Greg Kinnear’s shaggy Harry Dunne do). It’s as if the Farrelly Brothers thumbed their noses at New Line Cinema and said, “We don’t need your stinking ‘Dumb and Dumber’ prequel. We can make our own unoriginal piece of crap on our own.”
“Dumb and Dumberer” has its moments, especially if you have an affinity for bathroom humor. Yes, I admit it. I like bathroom humor. When many poo-pooed the first “Dumb and Dumber” for Jeff Daniels’ Oscar-caliber performance detailing the after-effects of a laxative cocktail, I roared out loud. I come from a long line of bathroom humor aficionados (going back to my father’s love for the infamous campfire scene in “Blazing Saddles”). Any movie – even a bad one – can’t be that terrible if some humor centers around a toilet.
I don’t say this for sympathy or even bragging rights. I say this only to let you understand where I’m coming from. “Dumb and Dumberer” doesn’t have any esoteric funny moments alongside the crude humor that you might find in a “Monty Python” episode with lofty references to feudal times or Jean-Paul Sartre. But “Dumb and Dumberer” does have a hysterical bathroom scene which shows how Harry got his start embarrassing himself in front of pretty girls (with a great supporting role by Bob Saget).
Sure, “Dumb and Dumberer” is dumb, dumber and dumberer than the original, but if you like that kind of banal, rustic and sophomoric humor (and I have to admit, I kinda do), it might be worth a buck or two at a discount theater.