Who let th­ese wiseguys back out?

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FIL REVIEWS - DON­ALD CLARKE

DUM­BAND DUMBER TO Di­rected by Peter Far­relly and Bobby Far­relly. Star­ring Jim Car­rey, Jeff Daniels, Lau­rie Holden, Kath­leen Turner, Brady Bluhm, Steve Tom. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 109 min If you want di­ver­sion while en­dur­ing the Far­relly brothers’ largely ter­ri­ble, de­press­ingly tardy – though amus­ingly ti­tled – se­quel to Dumb and Dumber, then pon­der what the ex­er­cise says about movie celebrity. Twenty years ago, Jeff Daniels was a re­spected, mod­estly fa­mous character ac­tor who brought a bit of weight to his part­ner­ship with en­er­getic, newly un­avoid­able sen­sa­tion Jim Car­rey. In 2014, Jeff Daniels is a re­spected, mod­estly fa­mous character ac­tor who brings a de­gree of weight to his part­ner­ship with sag­ging, newly un­der­per­form­ing has-been Jim Car­rey. If you shoot that bit higher then you have that bit harder to fall.

The im­bal­ance in­vests Car­rey’s per­for­mance with an ex­tra de­gree of des­per­a­tion. The Cana­dian has never held back in his ef­forts to blud­geon au­di­ences into sub­mis­sion, but, in Dumb and Dumber To, he seems con­stantly on the point of fall­ing to his knees and beg­ging us to laugh.

Few will com­ply. Times have moved on and what once seemed simultaneously fresh and dis­gust­ing now feels de­press­ingly thread­bare. We be­gin with the de­cent joke you have seen in the trailer. Harry (Daniels) vis­its Lloyd (Car­rey) in a care home where, for the last 20 years, he has ap­par­ently been ren­dered cata­tonic with un­ful­filled love for Mary “Samsonite”. It tran­spires that Lloyd has been play­ing a prank and, after chortling rev­e­la­tions, the two once again find them­selves on the road.

In truth, the script is not sig­nif­i­cantly weaker than that for the first film. Daniels and Car­rey re­sume their part­ner­ship as if lit­tle time has passed. But one can’t es­cape the sense that th­ese gags needed nov­elty to thrive. Per­haps the best com­par­i­son is with The Sex Pis­tols. Dumb and Dumber, still funny after all the con­vul­sions, re­minds us of the young punks bel­low­ing Pretty Va­cant at the 100 Club. Dumb and Dumber To sug­gests the but­ter-flog­ging Ly­don play­ing to mid­dle-aged fes­ti­val-go­ers in lux­ury yurts. It’s al­ready made plenty of filthy lu­cre in the US.

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