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Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner11/06/2003

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 87 mins

Amusing comedy that more than lives up to its title but is better than it has any right to be, thanks to strong comic performances and a good blend of both verbal and visual gags.

Dumb and Dumber was the 1994 smash hit comedy that launched the careers of the Farrelly Brothers and confirmed Jim Carrey as a Comedy God. Dumb and Dumberer, then is the sequel that took 9 years to get to the screen. It takes the form of a prequel, only without a) the Farrelly Brothers, b) Jim Carrey or c) Jeff Daniels. So it’s bound to suck, right?

Surprisingly, the answer is no. While it’s by no means brilliant, it succeeds because firstly it maintains the essential sweetness of the central relationship and secondly the ‘impersonations’ by the two leads (Eric Christian Olsen Not Jim Carrey and Derek Richardson Not Jeff Daniels) are uncannily accurate.

Indeed, it’s hard to see how Olsen Not Carrey can ever work again. Perhaps he should consider fishing all his future scripts out of Carrey’s rubbish bin?

Not Much Plot – On With The Gags!

Unsurprisingly, there isn't much of a plot. Greedy Principal Eugene Levy and his Naughty Lunch Lady (Cherie Oteri) discover there's a huge grant in the offing if they have a Special Needs class. So they get Harry and Lloyd to pick their own class in the hopes of absconding with the cheque.

Meanwhile, Jessica, a pretty student who wants to be a reporter (Rachel Nichols) gets wind of the scam and tries to get closer to Harry and Lloyd to investigate. That's about it, plot-wise. The rest is all gags.

To be fair, there are some really funny gags and some great lines. Stand-out moments include: a neat variation on the clichéd ‘speech practicing’ scene; Lloyd’s fantasy sequence involving Harry’s Mum (a very game Mimi Rogers) and, in terms of gross-out set-piece gags, the aftermath of a scene where Harry accidentally smears chocolate all over the bathroom wall. Yes, it's that kind of film.

Snappy Lines And A Great Cast

There are some good lines, too ("Just like taking candy from a stranger..."; "Ha! Chicks are for fags!") and the script takes pains to balance the verbal gags with the many sight gags.

The cast is excellent and includes Eldon Hensen and Luis Guzman as Lloyd's Dad (wasted, really, but it’s always nice to see him). The two leads are superb and capture their grown-up counterparts both physically and verbally. Levy is as good as always, but the surprisingly sexy Cherie Oteri is also very good and almost steals the film.

In short, the bottom line is that, one or two embarrassingly off-beam jokes aside, it's a very dumb movie but a pretty funny one nonetheless. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 19/09/2014 15:46
 

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