Arguably difficult to pull this one off, given its release twenty years after the original ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and that principal actors Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels had to considerably regress into playing the goofy ‘one card shy of a full deck’ Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne respectively. My goodness do the writers make a mess of it though. One imagines them, the Farrelly brothers (also the directors), guffawing earnestly at their own jokes as they churn out toilet gags that a five year old would find off-putting, whilst they simultaneously commit the cardinal sin of thinking anyone in the audience is actually going to care about the particularly lame story that’s been sticky taped around their all but ineffective slapstick routines.
Said story focuses on Harry’s discovery that he has a long lost child combined with Lloyd’s discovery that he wants to bone her (curiously Rachel Melvin, who plays the daughter, looks rather similar to Emma Stone, whom Carrey rather publicly declared his undying affection for a couple of years back), all leading them on a road trip to a scientific conference where she is due to give a speech on behalf of her highly regarded academic foster father, whose wife is plotting to kill him and take his money. To be fair I did laugh a few times, and loyal affection for the original characters carried me through to the end but an air of desperation never quite leaves the film and it’s full of unfortunate moments, like watching Carrey swallow a hot dog whole and then visibly suffer for it a moment later. They needed a genuine spark to make this work, maybe even putting Lloyd and Harry into the background more often possibly with leading straight characters for contrast, but it never really gets off the ground and is dramatically weighed down by simple crassness throughout.