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Coming soon whether we like it or not is the Farrelly Brothers' The Three Stooges, a reboot that places the iconic physical comedy team in a modern setting. Since word of the project first hit, fans and detractors alike have speculated on how Bobby and Peter Farrelly, the minds behind comedy classics like Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary as well as the pair to blame for such duds as Shallow Hal and Me, Myself & Irene, would bring a fresh sensibility to the established slapstick stylings of the stooges.
Well, in the feature's first trailer, the filmmakers revealed the stooges' backstory. Apparently, when they were just babies, cursed with bad hair and a flair for violent shtick, they were abandoned on the steps of an orphanage, where they've since been a burden to the nuns who oversee it. Though the film is said to follow their efforts to save the orphanage from closing, plot details appear to be the farthest thing from the producers' minds when it comes to promotion. Instead, with the latest trailer, viewable below, the focus is solely on slapstick and slap-happy sound effects, in what appears an overeager attempt to jog the memories of long-time Stooges fans. Does it work?
Personally, despite the best efforts of Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso, I find the comedy here falls flat. In every sense, The Three Stooges is something we've seen before, and Twentieth Century Fox seems totally uninterested in showing us any break from the expected. Perhaps the movie will offer an element of surprise when the Stooges are forced to interact with more modern-minded characters, but this peek at a screeching Sofia Vergara doesn't leave much cause for optimism. And frankly it seems a waste of the talent they've lined up. Admittedly, I'm unfamiliar with Diamantopoulos, but Sean Hayes has proved wildly funny on his award-winning stint on Will & Grace just as Vergara has on Modern Family. For his part, Sasso has shown to be sidesplitting on MADtv and in Drop Dead Gorgeous. Yet here, it appears they've been completely hemmed in by the now clichéd antics of the Stooges, leaving little hope that this reboot will be worth the cost of admission.
The Three Stooges opens April 13th.