Blu-ray Review Comedy

Blu-ray Review: Dumb and Dumber To

February 23, 2015Ben Mk


To plus too is fore...

The general rule of thumb with sequels is that you want to strike while the iron is hot. That's why a movie like Dumb and Dumber To is a bit of a rarity; because not only does it arrive a full two decades after the first film, it also reunites the original writer/directors, the Farrelly Brothers, with the original stars, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, who reprise their roles as America's favorite numbskulls, Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. But while Carrey and Daniels may be willing to play middle-aged versions of their characters, is their "Two Stooges" schtick already well past its prime?

   

The Film So, what have Harry and Lloyd been up to in the twenty years since their first comic misadventure? As it turns out, not much. Left in a catatonic state after being rejected by his dream girl, Lloyd has spent all that time wasting away at a mental institution, where his ever-faithful friend Harry has been visiting him every Wednesday like clockwork. But don't despair, it's all an elaborate goof. And within five minutes, the pair are back sitting on the couch at their old apartment in Providence, Rhode Island.

Of course, they don't stay there for long, as screenwriters Sean Anders and John Morris drop a couple of out-of-the-blue revelations — namely, that Harry needs a new kidney and that he has an attractive 22-year-old daughter named Penny (Rachel Melvin) whom he never knew about — that prompt the pair of doofuses to embark on yet another road trip. This time, they're off to the great state of Maryland, to help Harry find his long-lost kin and perhaps persuade her to donate one of her kidneys to save Harry's life. Once they get there, however, Penny's Nobel prize-winning adoptive father, Bernard (Steve Tom), informs them she's just left to deliver a speech on his behalf at a TED-like conference in El Paso, and he tasks them with getting his "billion dollar invention" — which she's conveniently left behind — safely to her.

The story may not be a complete, note-for-note re-hash, but it does offer up more than its fair share of parallels for viewers familiar with the first film. Once again, Harry and Lloyd find themselves delivering a valuable item to a girl. Once again, the plot revolves around a series of idiotic misunderstandings. And once again, the moronic duo find themselves unwittingly stumbling into the crosshairs of a couple of murderous criminals (Laurie Holden, as Bernard's gold-digging wife, and Rob Riggle as her lover). But hey, why mess with a proven formula? The good news is that the approach works fairly well, and there's a lot of satisfaction to be had in watching the two leads slip fondly back into their old roles.

As for how well the movie stands up on its own merits, humor-wise — well, it can be somewhat of a mixed bag. But rest assured, its game cast — including Kathleen Turner as Penny's mannish biological mother, Fraida — is certainly one of the film's strong suits. On the whole, there's no shortage of sight gags, verbal puns, gross-out jokes and other farcical acts of juvenile delinquency (committed by middle-aged men) to tickle audiences' funny bones. Of course, the Farrellys are pitching low-brow comedy aimed at the broadest spectrum of moviegoers. But with Carrey and Daniels as their salesmen, you're bound to buy into some of it.

Audio/Visual Fidelity Harry and Lloyd's combined IQ may be somewhere in the low single digits, but that's certainly not the case when it comes to Dumb and Dumber To's PQ, which earns high marks across the board. Detail is crisp and true-to-life, colors are vibrant and lush, and the overall image takes on a pleasing, filmic look, thanks to a fine layer of grain. As for the disc's AQ, songs benefit from the extra "oomph" provided by its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, and the (albeit limited) demands of the film's soundstage — whether it's dialogue, exploding firecrackers or "the second-most annoying sound in the world" — are met with ease.

Special Features Universal's Blu-ray release bundles DVD, iTunes and UltraViolet digital copies of the film, as well as over an hour's worth of HD extras, including a 2-minute Alternate Opening (really more of an extended opening), 10 minutes of Deleted/Extended Scenes (one deleted scene and seven extended scenes in total) and an 8-minute Gag Reel. Viewers interested in finding out more about the movie can also check out the 45-minute, six-part making-of piece titled "That's Awesome!" - The Story of Dumb and Dumber To, which touches on the cast, the cameos, the vehicles, the stunts, the editorial process and the production in general. And if that isn't enough, there's What’s So Smart About Dumb and Dumber To, a 6-minute featurette that speaks to the broad appeal of the movie’s low-brow humor and the health benefits laughing can bring.


The Bottom Line Dumb and Dumber To definitely recaptures the nostalgia of the original. But whether it will have the same staying power as the Farrelly Brothers' 1994 mega-hit remains to be seen. Whatever the case may be, Universal has certainly done its part in ensuring the film's continued success, unleashing Carrey and Daniels — in all their comedic glory — into viewers' living rooms with pristine audio and video, as well as a slew of extras. Suffice to say, if you dug Harry and Lloyd the first time around, then there's a good chance you'll like this Blu-ray a lot.  Ben Mk

Disc Breakdown
The Film  —  
Audio/Visual Fidelity  —  
Special Features  —  





* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on November 14th, 2014.



You May Also Like

0 comments