Year 8, Day 79 - 3/19/16 - Movie #2,280
BEFORE: Bill Murray carries over from "Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead", I have the IMDB's assurance that he's in here somewhere. I've got no other films with Jim Carrey, and only one other film with Jeff Daniels, "The Martian". I will get to "The Martian" soon, it's just that my path there seems to lead straight through "Batman v. Superman", and then I haven't quite figured out which way I should go after "The Martian", it seems to be sort of a nexus point, with paths going off in three different directions. Once I get a bit closer, I'll try to work it out. My next four weeks of movies are already programmed.
I guess it's a sign that I really am catching up on things, I avoided the first "Dumb & Dumber" film for 16 years, finally watching it in 2010, and I only avoided the sequel for two years.
FOLLOW-UP TO: "Dumb & Dumber" (Movie #606)
THE PLOT: Twenty years since their first adventure, Lloyd and Harry go on a road trip to find Harry's newly discovered daughter, who was given up for adoption.
AFTER: OK, so I may have erred a little in thinking of this as a Bill Murray movie, because he's only in the film for about 30 seconds, and he plays a man working in a meth lab, so he's completely covered in a hazmat suit, and not even recognizable. My bad. But casting a great actor like Bill Murray in your film, and then not letting him do anything of note, well, that's just dumb. Which I guess seems appropriate.
It's also dumb to show the BEST joke from the film in the trailer. Seriously, there's too much being revealed these days in trailers, sometimes you get the whole plot revealed, in which case there's less incentive to see the whole film, or in this case, the funniest moment. So when it comes around, early in the film, it's less funny for people who have already seen it, and know that it's coming. Anyway, is it generally funny to have a comatose man in diapers for 20 years, or is that just another excuse to work in some poop jokes?
The two friends reunite and go on another road trip, this time to find the daughter that Harry didn't know that he had, thanks to a pile of old mail he finds at his parents' house. This puts them in contact with the scientist who adopted her, and his billion-dollar invention that will change the world, and then there are some shady characters trying to get their hands on it. Honestly, the level of intrigue here sort of makes the plot in "Spy" almost believable. Our idiot heroes here merely have to deliver this invention to the "KEN" conference in El Paso, an obvious riff on the TED talks (which were held in Long Beach, CA for many years, but have since been moved to Vancouver - who wants to go to Vancouver in February? Talk about dumb...)
So they're off from Rhode Island to Maryland, then to Texas, driving increasingly ludicrous forms of transportation - first a hearse, then the classic "dog van" from the first film, and finally a Zamboni. When they finally arrive in El Paso (somehow the trip takes only a couple of days, somehow I think that even with two drivers, it should take considerably longer) the conference is still going on (what are the odds?) and they get mistaken for a reclusive scientist and his associate. OK, so maybe some scientists are a bit oddball, like Einstein maybe left his house without pants, but you'd think that in a conference full of geniuses, a couple of dumb guys would stand out.
I won't refer directly to any more gags, because to over-analyze them would kill the humor. You either find something funny or you don't - and I laughed a few times during this, I'll admit, which is why I'm scoring this one slightly higher than the original film. People might think it's easy to play a dumb character, but I think in some ways it's more difficult. The actor still has to be smart about playing dumb in order for it to still be funny. And I will say that every time you think you've got a handle on just how stupid these two characters are supposed to be, they find a way to take it one step further.
Also starring Jim Carrey (last seen in "Kick-Ass 2"), Jeff Daniels (last seen in "The Purple Rose of Cairo"), Rob Riggle (last seen in "Let's Be Cops"), Kathleen Turner (last seen in "The Accidental Tourist"), Rachel Melvin, Laurie Holden (last seen in "The Majestic"), Steve Tom (last seen in "The Guilt Trip"), Patricia French (also last seen in "Let's Be Cops"), Don Lake.
RATING: 4 out of 10 milkshakes