Monday, November 17, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To Review

I'm going to be honest here, I didn't grow up with Dumb and Dumber. For one reason or another, it just wasn't a movie that my household grew up watching and I didn't watch it with friends. Due to the extremely high popularity of the film, that's not a fact I usually reveal to others. In fact, when the movie came up in conversation I usually have just remained quiet or pretended I knew what I was talking about. It was always on my list of movies to watch one day, but I never got around to it. However, watching that movie became a much higher priority as the sequel loomed and now that the sequel is out, I can finally admit that I have now watched Dumb and Dumber. Originally I wasn't going to admit this. I was just going to watch the movie before I saw the sequel and then talk about the sequel as if I saw the original a while back, but I decided that I could take advantage of this opportunity to give a unique prospective and both Dumb and Dumber and Dumber and Dumber To. The prospective of one who doesn't have the nostalgia aspect attached to the movie and can take an honest, fresh look at it.

Given this introduction, if you have been a fan of Dumb and Dumber since it came out, you might be nervous that I will come out and rip the movie to shreds. Don't worry, I'm not. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it and thus I finished the movie disappointed with myself that I had missed out on this movie for my whole life. However, it's definitely the type of humor that you either love or hate. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. Personally I've always loved Jim Carrey and him and Jeff Daniels just have this perfect comedic chemistry. There are so many scenes throughout the whole movie that just have you laughing uncontrollably. Admittedly, there are also plenty of scenes that are just disgusting in a very unfunny sort of way. There's also plenty of scenes that feel offensive, rude, and/or racist, but for some reason you find yourself laughing at them anyways because it's just Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels acting dumb and it's super funny. You kinda feel guilty that you laughed, but you did and you enjoyed it in a terrible sort of way.

With that out of they way, it's time to discuss this new sequel. Being honest, most of the movie is just a cut and paste from the original. Most of the gags and jokes are the same. But it's not just that. The story from this is strikingly similar to the first as well as a lot of the twists and turns. There's two ways you can critique this strategy. The first is to knock on the movie due to the lack of creativity. The second is to commend them for going with the philosophy that if it ain't broken, don't fix it. I'm kind of on the fence with this, but I actually lean more towards the second option. When I go into a comedy, my expectations are very simple. I want to laugh. If you give me an interesting story to go along with the laughs, then that's a bonus, but as long as you make me laugh, I'll be satisfied. I actually went into this movie feeling very stressed out for various reasons and in going in, I just wanted to forget about the world and be entertained by what I hoped was a funny movie. And it worked like a charm. I laughed. A lot! In fact, I walked out of the theater feeling happy and cheerful, so it was a perfect remedy to a bad day. Yes, just like the first, there were a lot of scenes that were just laugh-out-loud, roll-over-in-your-seat type of funny. Also like the first, there were plenty of scenes that were just disgusting and not funny as well as some scenes that may have been offensive or horrible, but you laugh anyways.

Nostalgia is an interesting thing. As a child who was born in the 80's and grew up in the 90's, I will fully admit that there are plenty of movies that really aren't very good movies, but I love anyways because as a child I wasn't a very harsh critic and thus I remember the enjoyment I got out of the movies, even if I realize now that the quality may not have been too high or the graphics may have been poor. There's also cases where the movie really is a good movie, but the nostalgia turns it from good to great. Not having the nostalgia factor for Dumb and Dumber, I'm going to say that in this case, this is definitely the second option and not the first. Dumb and Dumber IS a good movie. No, it's not my favorite comedy as I have laughed a lot harder in other comedies, but it's still a good movie that made me laugh. And it's the same thing with Dumb and Dumber To. It's a good movie that made me laugh. And actually, I think I may have laughed a bit more from Dumb and Dumber To and might just pick that as the better movie. And if this movie had come out two or three years after the first, I think that many of you would agree with me. But alas it didn't. It came out 20 years later and doesn't have the nostalgia aspect that the first does, so I wouldn't expect fans of the first to like the second one better or even the same. But I do think Dumb and Dumber fans will enjoy this.

So in the end, Dumb and Dumber is a movie that you either love or hate. The humor is such that it doesn't lend itself to middle ground. Based on the fact that Dumber and Dumber To is pretty much the same movie with the same style of humor, I think you already know if you'll like it or not, so no persuasion here needed. If you liked the first, you'll like the second. If you hated the first, you'll hate the second. It's as simple as that. If you weren't a fan of the first, this addition won't convert you. If you were a fan, I don't think you'll turn against the sequel. Although I don't have the nostalgia factor from the first movie, I still enjoyed it. And because I found that style of dumb humor to be funny, I enjoyed the second one. I had one simple expectation: make me laugh. And it did. So if you are itching for a comedy and loved Dumb and Dumber, this is a movie that I would call a must see. If you are in the minority like I was and haven't seen Dumb and Dumber, I would suggest watching that before you watch the sequel and then use that as a gauge to see if you would like the the sequel. It's not the greatest movie, but it does what it sets out to do and because of that, I am going to give Dumb and Dumber To an 8/10.

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