Review – A Moronic Sequel (“Dumb and Dumber To”)

And this is the script that Jim Carrey held out for? Yikes! Directed again by the Farrelly brothers (Bobby and Peter) who gave us the brilliant first movie, this sad sequel (which has six credited screenwriters! SIX!!) is almost a carbon-copy of the first movie’s plot. What? With six writers you couldn’t think of a different story?
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Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) has been catatonic at a rest home for 20 years due to his break-up with Mary Samsonite (the girl from the first movie). Loyal and best friend Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) has been caring and visiting Lloyd for ten years until one day, surprise! Lloyd reveals is was all one big practical joke! Harry thinks that’s hysterical! Hardy-har-har!

Harry tells Lloyd he desperately needs a kidney transplant and takes him back to their dingy old apartment/meth lab where they meet Billy, the blind kid (Brady Bluhm–from the first movie). Lloyd tells Harry he needs to contact his parents to find a kidney match, but after finding out he was adopted, Harry must track down his only living relative: a long-lost 20-something daughter he never knew he had named Penny (Rachel Melvin). This leads them to visit
Fraida Felcher (Kathleen Turner), Penny’s “titanic whore” of a mother. Armed with a letter as to Penny’s whereabouts, the boys set out to find her.

BUT! Little do they know that Penny is now the adopted daughter of famed Nobel-winning scientist Dr. Pinchlow (Steve Tom) whose trophy wife, Adele (Laurie Holden) is slowly poisoning him to get to his millions and then run off with the handsome handy man, Travis (Rob Riggle). Penny, who is just as dumb as the guys, leaves for Texas to give a speech for her father at a prestigious science conference.

The boys arrive at the Pinchlow’s too late, but are intrusted to find Penny and give her a very special package from her father, provided they take Travis along for insurance. Of course, the guys are blissfully unaware that Travis means to kill them and take the billion dollar package. But after Travis gets his ticket punched, his lethal twin brother from Special Op’s steps in take over the mission.

The guys finally arrive in Texas and, while Harry is mistakenly thought to be Dr. Pinchlow and given all the amenities of the symposium, Lloyd finds Penny and falls in love/lust with her. The final third act is all the main characters coming together in an expected and ridiculous ending that bears an uncanny resemblance to the first film. Hmmmm. . .

It’s no secret that Carrey refused to do any Dumb and Dumber sequel, unless the script was good because normally he doesn’t do sequels at all. Whether they wore him down or threw $$$ at him, I can’t imagine why he said “yes” to this one. The first film was brilliantly written and hysterical; this one is a tedious “okay, if this joke doesn’t work, maybe this one will” scatter-shot attempt to catch lightning in a bottle twice.

But what do you expect when the plot’s are nearly the same? Let’s compare the two: both have a love interest being pursued, both have an assassin riding in their car, both have a package to be delivered, both have a symposium Harry and Lloyd cause chaos at, both have Harry being shot, plus more. Six writers and they couldn’t come up with one fresh idea!?

Now, I don’t want to give you the idea that it was all bad, because it wasn’t. They were some genuine laughs here and there. Carrey, chipped tooth and Tupperware bowl haircut, and Daniels with his hang-dog expression and Tesla-coil hair-do are comic geniuses, doing their very best by milking laughs out of a mediocre script. Some scenes have that special spark the first movie had, but not enough to sustain the whole 110 minutes. Sorry, guys, you deserve better.  

Side note: The lovely Jennifer Lawrence played a teenage
Fraida Felcher, but she told the studios to cut all her filmed scenes from the final movie before release. Apparently, she didn’t like what she saw.    

                  
AIRPLANE! (1980)
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People behaving like idiots? You got ’em! The brothers Zucker (David and Jerry) and Jim Abrahams, after their hysterical Kentucky Fried Movie bowed in 1977, came up with this iconic entry that sparked a whole gaggle of “idiot” films (and a TV series) in the 80’s and 90’s.

The premise was simple: rip-off serious disaster movies like Airport 1975 and Zero Hour and fill it completely with nonsensical and goofy sight gags, ridiculous dialogue, and bizarre and illogical scenes to make you cringe, laugh, and say, “Oy!!” And many of the punch lines are still used today!
 
The story (very much like Airport 1975‘s plot) involves ex-fighter pilot and taxi driver Ted Striker (Robert Hays) trying to win back his girlfriend, flight attendant Elaine Dickinson (Julie Haggerty). Problem is, Ted was traumatized during an unnamed war, leading to a fear of flying. Elaine was the nurse that helped him recover, but Ted never got over his guilt over the mission he flew.

Bravely he boards her flight just to talk to her, when trouble arises: the pilot and co-pilot (Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) are incapacitated over the tainted fish dinners, along with many of the passengers. Since Ted was once a pilot, he’s elected to fly the plane, but he’s scared and riddled with guilt. The doctor on board (Leslie Nielsen) tries to help the sick passengers as the airport control manager (Lloyd Bridges) and Ted’s old commanding officer (Robert Stack) try to talk Ted down to the ground safely.
 
“Surely, you can’t be serious!”
“I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley”
 
Yeah, that’s where that exchange came from. This movie is outrageously outrageous. Cameos galore, flashbacks scenarios that are LOL, priceless sight gags that require three viewings to see them all, and SO many one-liners that this film set the standard for all one-liner movies and TV shows to come. Family Guy, especially.
 
This movie spawned a dismal sequel written by Ken Finkelman, and even though it featured many of the original cast, it was just plain bad. After this, the guys (Zucker/Abrahams) went on to make the Naked Gun movies and TV series. Not bad for a bunch of Wisconsin college kids writing slapstick skits for a tiny theater group.
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