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With: Eric Christian Olsen, Derek Richardson, Eugene Levy, Mimi Rogers, Luis Guzman, Rachel Nichols, Elden Henson, Cheri Oteri, William Lee Scott, Michelle Krusiec, Shia LaBeouf, Teal Redmann, Lin Shaye, Dana Gould, Bob Saget
Written by: Troy Miller, Robert Brenner
Directed by: Troy Miller
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sex-related humor, and for language
Running Time: 85
Date: 13/06/2003

Dumb and Dumberer (2003)

0 Stars

The 'Dumb' of All Fears

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In 1994, America's critics applauded a new wave of dumb. At the time, if a dumb character in a dumb movie simply embraced, and even celebrated, his dumbness, it would be seen as brave or original. Or something.

But it became clear that we were dealing with two kinds of dumb. On the one hand, dumb could be surprising and shocking and tell us a little something about the way we live our lives, such as TV's Homer Simpson, Johnny Depp's clueless filmmaker in Ed Wood or Alicia Silverstone's high school Emma in Clueless.

But on the other hand, dumb can be just dumb. If dumb characters get themselves involved in dumb situations, then it follows that a smart audience will be able to see exactly where the "jokes" are going to come from.

Hence, if two characters try to look inconspicuous at a gas station by pumping and spilling gas everywhere, it's only obvious that an explosion will follow.

And so, for no reason, we have Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, a sequel to the mediocre 1994 Farrelly brothers comedy -- made without the participation of the Farrellys, Jim Carrey or Jeff Daniels.

At first it seems like a totally harmless, totally unfunny movie; a few moments even come close to approximating charm. But now that I've slept on it, I've decided that it's a completely worthless waste of money and film.

Two younger "actors" try to copy Carrey and Daniels' performances from the original. Eric Christian Olsen (Not Another Teen Movie, The Hot Chick) plays Lloyd Christmas and first-timer Derek Richardson plays Harry Dunne. Sometimes the copies are pretty good, but to what end? Why do we need copies when the originals are still around? Not to mention that the original Dumb and Dumber is far from Carrey's finest hour on film.

In the new film, Harry and Lloyd meet for the first time in high school and become involved in some kind of embezzling plot in which the school's principal (a slumming Eugene Levy) assembles a "special" class in order to gain extra funds. The only good thing about this plot is that it appears to have been longer and was mercifully cut down.

The unfunny outtakes that run during the end credits reveal a few scenes that didn't make the final cut, and even the remaining movie is padded with odd pop songs that spring up every three or four minutes to keep the sluggish pace moving. The opening song, "Ice Ice Baby," only reminded me of Jim Carrey's dead-on skewering of Vanilla Ice on TV's "In Living Color" -- thereby making Dumb and Dumberer seem even more pathetic.

They've been paid, so it only seems fair to list the cast members who agreed to be in this atrocity. Besides Levy, we have Luis Guzman (Traffic, Punch-Drunk Love), Mimi Rogers (The Rapture) and comedians Dana Gould, Cheri Oteri and Bob Saget. Dumb and Dumberer is on their resume for life, though I suppose they could blame it on evil twins...

Maybe I'm overestimating a bit, but I'd like to believe that even the American public is too smart to turn this albatross into a hit. If not, we can surely expect even stupider movies next summer, perhaps a batch of new "reality" movies?

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