The year is 1986. The song blaring over the school intercom is "Ice Ice Baby". We watch entranced, as in the opening moments of Dumb and Dumberer, Lloyd dances and cavorts to a song that in his particular time period, doesn't even exist. That's symptomatic of the sort of lazy man's effort that went into making Dumb and Dumberer; a perfunctory prequel with none of the original actors and none of the original's semi-retarded wit.
Please note again: Jim Carrey is not in this movie. Not even a little bit. Neither is John Wayne, but that's for entirely different, mostly death related reasons. I thought I should clarify that, since the trailers running roughshod across America don't really go out of their way to make that clear. Since this is a prequel to Dumb and Dumber, the pseudo-classic comedy from the 90's, you might assume his talking ass is on board. You would be wrong. In truth, no one of any talent who had anything to do with the first film is in any way connected to this prequel. I don't know if they were asked, but presumably they all read the script and then ran off to make something of higher quality, an Earth Girls are Easy sequel for instance. Besides, these days Jeff Daniels is much too busy getting fat. Thank god for Big Macs, because no amount of Carrey or Daniels infusion could have pumped life into this so lazy-it-hurts production.
After setting a perfect 80's tone by playing the worst of 90's tunes, Dumberer launches right into things, putting our insuperable pair, Harry and Lloyd, together for the very first time. Still confused about the actual date, Dumberer goes through the effort of using only circa 1986 automobiles, but becomes somewhat confused about what passes for 1986 fashion. Actually, there's very little in this thing that's all that period specific. If director Troy Miller wasn't so busy cashing his paycheck, he might have at least thrown in some objects that were legitimately decade specific. Why did we even bother with the date at all? Turning this into a Dumb and Dumberer version of The Breakfast Club might have been an interesting place to aim, but you can't do that without some vintage leg warmers.
Anyway, within minutes Harry and Lloyd are off and running, instant friends and extremely stupid. They are quickly wrapped up in their school principal's (Eugene Levy) evil plot to steal a lot of "Special Needs" money and hightail it to Aruba with a lunch lady, played by Chris Farley. Ok, technically Cheri Oteri plays the lunch lady, but the world is a sadder place for not having Chris Farley around in lunch lady garb to make out with Eugene Levy. It just is. Oteri is a poor substitute for, well, anything. I'm sure someone thinks she's funny. She certainly does. I've been waiting a long time actually, but still haven't seen any evidence of it. Though its not like Eugene Levy is any help. I remember being certain at one point that he was extremely talented. However, I think he has since sold his soul to the same career gobbling demon Dan Akyroyd did back in the mid-80's. You shall be wealthy but make ONLY bad movies! Wasted for all eternity in a host of meaningless, beneath your station roles!!! Note to Levy: Read script BEFORE you sign contract.
So the principal is running off to Aruba and it is up to Harry and Lloyd to stop him, even though they have no idea what's going on. That's ok though, since Principal Collins conveniently tapes EVERYTHING in his office, especially all the really incriminating conferences he has with the should-have-been-Chris-Farley lunch lady regarding their evil deeds. It is never explained why he tapes everything that goes on in his office, presumably so that even the dumbest of folk can incriminate him when it comes time to wrap this hacky plot up. My personal theory is that the movie is just too lazy to come up with anything better.
There's a girl the boys fight over. It doesn't' mean anything. Bob Saget makes a pretty entertaining cameo. Too entertaining actually since they reprise his scene again at the end. Funny once means it is even funnier twice right? Doubling up on the only funny thing in the film I guess. Whatever. Basically the plot just trundles along with a few random wet gags and sleepy gas induced tricks. It doesn't really go anywhere, I think there are only three actual scenes in the movie. Two of these scenes involve the drinking of slurpees.
In some ways, it is a shame. Eric Christian Olsen really works his HARDEST to do a kick ass impression of Jim Carrey as Lloyd Christmas. His first scene, in which we are deluged with out-of-time Vanilla Ice music is hilarious, and is the one of only two places in the movie where one might believe it is good. The other, is a scene ripped from the book of Back to the Future goodness, in which Lloyd and Harry race through town in a shopping cart, hanging onto the backs of cars in Marty McFly skateboard style., jiving to a groovy 80's "Eye of the Tiger" beat.
On the other hand, his partner, Harry, played by Derek Richardson, is not in this film. Oh there's this kid named Harry, and Derek Richardson plays him, but other than a semi-funny scene in the bathroom spreading shit, he doesn't really have anything to do. Lots of screen time is given, but very little of it amounted to anything I haven't already forgotten. He's a mannequin, an air pocket, the Paul Walker of comedy.
Stay away from this movie. Dumb and Dumberer is a wreck. You have not seen all the funniest scenes in the trailers, because the funniest scenes from the trailer are not in the movie. It's terrible in every way there is to be terrible. It's sloppy, disjointed, and just plain sad. I don't like it. John Wayne doesn't like it. You will not like it.
Reviewed By: Joshua Tyler