Twenty years after the release of Dumb and Dumber (1994) Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) return with another dose of malodorous humour in Dumb and Dumber To (2014). Lloyd has been in a fallow state for two decades but now he’s back and itching to go on another road trip with Harry whose just discovered he has a long-lost daughter with the one time love of his life, Fraida Felcher (Kathleen Turner). The pair sets off to find Penny (Rachel Melvin) just as she heads off to a big science symposium to give an important speech on behalf of her adoptive father Dr. Pinchelow (Steve Tom). Two ineffectual and methane-loving knights in shining armour, the pair follow Penny to the symposium.
The Farrelly brothers often miss the mark in their quest for the ultimate in bad-taste humour but Lloyd and Harry retain some charm and command a measure of goodwill on their second outing despite a substantial lack of originality in the narrative. Their appeal speaks to a devotion to the original script despite the Farrelly brothers taking a back seat and allowing Sean Anders and John Morris to take charge of the screenplay.The exploits of Harry and Lloyd are reminiscent of Scooby Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang, and Dumb & Dumber To, as with the earlier film, contains some mild peril followed by an archetypal bad guy shaking his fist at these triumphant fools. The jokes are far from fresh, yet the shock laughs are on a par with their inaugural outing and will undoubtedly appease fans of the original.
Daniels and Carrey don’t have to try very hard to achieve what’s required of them, and their comedic talents feel rather underused at times. Turner is also operating below her skill level, yet it’s good to once again see her grace the big screen. Fans of Dumb and Dumber will embrace the chance to re-live the mid-nineties even if the contemporary score from Empire of the Sun fails to coalesce with those memories. The nostalgia-laden closing credits feature a look back at some of the more memorable moments from Dumb and Dumber; the dog van flying through the air, furry ears flapping, the agony of that ipecac syrup scene. Comparing the highlights of the two films in a split-screen final homage to the film’s pair reminds us of why we’re drawn to these adorable nincompoops but also what we’re missing with this subpar sequel. Dumb and Dumber To probably won’t draw huge crowds out of their cosy homes to the sticky seats of the multiplex but remains an enjoyable enough watch for those who do make the effort.