Dumb And Dumber To was released across parts of Europe five weeks ahead of the UK, presumably to avoid the very real possibility of the entire continent simultaneously erupting with laughter and dislodging itself from the continental shelf. If so, such fears were ungrounded, for the film's most far-reaching environmental consequence will most likely be a gentle ripple of air caused by one or two of those mild nasal snorts that almost, but not quite, constitute a chuckle. It's not the worst comedy sequel of recent times (that would be Anchorman 2), but its near-admirable refusal to recognise any evolution in its own genre over the last two decades renders it of interest only to people for whom the first film didn't feature enough of a rubber-faced actor squirting mouth freshener away from his face instead of into it.
It is funny because there is a bird on his head and also he is making a silly face
IN ORDER TO RECREATE THE EXPERIENCE OF WATCHING A FILM IN A TURKISH CINEMA HERE IS AN UNNECESSARY AND IRRITATING INTERMISSION WHICH APPEARS AT THE EXACT MID-POINT OF THE REVIEW. IT IS PLACED HERE WITH NO THOUGHT FOR SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION OR NARRATIVE FLOW AND SERVES ONLY TO DISRUPT YOUR READING EXPERIENCE AND ALLOW YOU A FEW MOMENTS TO GO AND BUY A HOT DOG. THE REVIEW WILL NOW CONTINUE FROM THE EXACT POINT AT WHICH IT WAS BAFFLINGLY INTERRUPTED AND YOU WILL FIND IT QUITE DIFFICULT TO RESUME READING, BUT NOBODY CARES SO JUST BUY SOME SHIT FROM THE FOYER AND SHUT UP.wrinkles, Harry and Lloyd haven't altered at all in that time, and neither have the gags, which required no fewer than six credited writers to craft despite representing the level of humour normally reserved for office jokers and political speechwriters. Structurally and comedically, the sequel is the equal of its prequel, to the point where it's as if no time has passed whatsoever.
And that's the problem. Dumb And Dumber was kind of funny in 1995 because it was unashamedly, well, dumb, and traded heavily on Carrey's rocketing stardom. One-fifth of a century later, it's hard to justify the lameness of what's on offer here. You will laugh, but not much; the hit rate of gags is criminally low for such a high-profile comedy. And who, you have to ask, is this film's target audience? It's unlikely to be twenty-somethings who creased up at Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street earlier this year - after all, what's funny about two men in their fifties with silly haircuts being idiots? - but rather an older crowd who loved the original but, let's be honest, probably haven't watched it in years, never expected nor requested a sequel and who should really demand a little more brains behind the gurning and annoying noises.
This scene is not quite as funny as Jeff Daniels is making out.
In its defence, and at the risk of sounding painfully ancient, Dumb And Dumber To at least doesn't resort to modern film comedy's tendency to substitute jokes with incessant swearing, shouting and painfully knowing cameos (although a huge name does appear, completely anonymously and unnoticed until revealed in the end credits). But it makes no effort to up its own game, and loses further goodwill in managing to be alarmingly offensive in its treatment of Kathleen Turner, who plays a small, self-deprecating role and gets little more than sexist, ageist and weightist abuse from her writers, directors and co-stars for her trouble. And as if that wasn't upsetting enough, it also features the worst unnecessary English accent since Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.
If it's a brief wave of nostalgia for the mid-'90s you're after, then Dumb And Dumber To will deliver that in spades. But like much of that period's cultural output - Dubstar, Game On, Worms on PC - by the time you remember it's 2014, you'll have forgotten it ever existed.