|'Carrey and Daniels still have undeniable comic chemistry and timing, elevating the less inspired material'.|
You have to go back over a decade to find the Farrelly brothers' last worthwhile film, with 2003's hit-and-miss conjoined twin comedy Stuck On You being the last effort written and directed by the pair that wasn't a critical and commercial failure. It's perhaps not surprising to see Peter and Bobby Farrelly return to their heyday of the mid 1990s to create their first sequel, Dumb And Dumber To, although the fact that they also managed to coax back both Jeff Daniels and notoriously sequel-phobic Jim Carrey was somewhat more unexpected.
After a trailer that failed to give much hope that the film would be anything more than a pale imitator to the 1994 original, Dumb And Dumber To in fact ends up a surprisingly enjoyable, if not particularly original, follow-up to Dumb And Dumber. The Farrellys are fairly shameless in sticking to roughly the same road movie formula as they used twenty years earlier, setting up Harry (Daniels) and Lloyd (Carrey) on a cross-country trip as an excuse for them to get into situations they don't understand and generally act like idiots. Once again there's a valuable McGuffin entrusted to the intellectually-challenged pair, and criminal antagonists who underestimate them with amusing results.
In short, this is a classic case of a sequel retreading much the same ground as the original, a method which is invariably likely to produce an inferior second film. Dumb And Dumber To does little to break that rule, never managing to reach the stupid comedy heights of the Farrelly brothers' debut feature. There are undeniable gag misfires here - a Breaking Bad reference early doors already feels outdated - and those jokes that do find their mark never provide the belly laughs of Dumb And Dumber. That said, the film delivers a greater level of successful comedy than the brothers' most recent films might have prepared you to expect. The Farrellys also include a few welcome nods back to the original film, but these are wisely kept both sporadic and snappy - Harry's iconic Mutts Cutts van makes a brief cameo; as does the duo's blind neighbour Billy, with Brady Bluhm reprising his role from the original.
The pivotal factor in making Dumb And Dumber To worthwhile is the returning Carrey and Daniels. Whilst both leading men have taken on a varied selection of film roles in a range of genres during the intervening two decades, both pleasingly slip back into their respective madcap characters from the opening moments onwards. Carrey and Daniels still have undeniable comic chemistry and timing, elevating the less inspired material from the Farrellys in the same way that they turned Dumb And Dumber from a good stupid comedy into a great one twenty years before.