The original Dumb and Dumber is a comedy classic. It’s not intelligent, it doesn’t have a great story, but it’s just plain funny. What made the film work is that the gags all hit the bullseye and the hysterical performances from Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels help elevate the material to comedic heaven. Now, after 20 years of anticipation, the inevitable sequel has finally arrived. Cleverly titled Dumb and Dumber To, the film gives its audience the chance to spend a couple more hours with these two characters that have become so beloved over the years. It’s great to watch Carey and Daniels do their thing and there are a fair number of hearty belly laughs to be had. But obviously this isn’t going to be able to live up to its predecessor; it’s not as clever, certainly not as funny and it feels overly reliant on callbacks from the original. Still, there’s something endearing about seeing these two characters again. For fans of the original, this sequel will feel like a nice reunion with two incredibly moronic friends.

After being rejected by Mary Swanson in the original film, Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) checked himself into a mental health facility, where he stayed for 20 years in a seemingly catatonic state. His best friend, Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels), would visit him every week. But one week, Harry announces that he needs a kidney transplant and that he won’t be able to come back for a while. This prompts Lloyd to reveal that he’s been faking his illness the entire time and the two of them set out in search of a kidney. After visiting Harry’s parents, they discover a long lost letter that reveals that Harry has a daughter (Rachel Melvin). In an effort to meet her for the first time and receive a kidney, the duo set off on a cross country trip to El Paso, Texas.

Like its predecessor, the best thing about this sequel is the performance from Carrey and Daniels. These two gave some incredibly off the wall performances 20 years ago and they comfortably slip back into these characters like they never left them. Since the original, both Carrey and Daniels have found great success in more dramatic fare, so seeing them attempt to play such imbeciles again is pretty amusing. It seems like they’re both happy to have been given the opportunity to revisit these two roles and the overall film benefits from their good-natured fun. And while their performances are responsible for the majority of the laughs, there are actually a handful of great gags on display. Jokes involving a trip on a bicycle, a confusion of addresses and a reunion with a long lost vehicle all provide hearty belly laughs that continue to provide chuckles, even after the scene has ended.

But, sadly, these few great gags are outweighed by an overreliance on crude and gross-out humor. There are so many jokes in the film that resort to filthiness for laughs and most of these moments simply aren’t funny. Believe it or not, the original film rarely resorted to this type of lowbrow humor. Sure, there were a few fart and pee jokes and even an infamous bathroom scene, but directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly never relied on their ability to be disgusting for laughs. It’s the performances that make the scenarios funny, but in To, they rely on potty-humor like a crutch. Even the great performances from Carrey and Daniels can’t elevate some of these truly lame jokes. There’s also an overreliance on repeated jokes from the original. Some callbacks would be fine, but there are so many in this film that it starts to feel like the Farrelly Brothers are running out of ideas. Clearly their writing hasn’t gotten any better and neither has their directing, with this film looking very cheaply made and worse than the original.

With broad humor and a plot that’s strikingly similar to its predecessor (in a good way), Dumb and Dumber To feels like it was plucked straight from the 90s. I enjoyed going on another journey with these characters, although the destination that they reach is pretty lame in comparison to the city of Aspen from the original. Despite some solid laughs, this sequel is not as funny as most will have wanted it to be, with nearly the entire third act failing to deliver consistent chuckles. But still, there’s something quite endearing about getting to see these two characters participate in another adventure. After the credits of the film, there’s a gag that suggests a future Dumb and Dumber installment could be a possibility. After seeing this, a lady in my theater scoffed and proclaimed that she hopes that will never happen. Even though I didn’t love Dumb and Dumber To, I would love to see this comedy prove her wrong.

Dumb and Dumber To receives 2/4

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