dumb and dumber

It’s been twenty years since Jim Carrey had his annus mirabilis in 1994 when, seemingly in a matter of hours, he became the biggest comedy star in the world. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was followed by The Mask, before he rounded up the year very nicely with Dumb & Dumber, a film that could trouble Airplane! for a place at the top of the comedy tree.

Carrey became the biggest name in comedy for over ten years, but the two fellows responsible for Dumb & Dumber didn’t fare too badly either. The Farrelly Brothers’ follow-up, Kingpin (1996), was even funnier, though the box office returns were diminished. Their audience returned in droves in 1998 for their biggest hit, There’s Something About Mary, which made superstars out of Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller, and made men across the world take extra care when pulling up the zip on their trousers.

In recent years, pickings have been lean for The Farrelly Brothers and their biggest star. Carrey is still as funny as ever, albeit in second-tier material like The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Mr Popper’s Penguins. The Farrellys’ schtick – gross-out plot; centrepiece scene involving bodily-fluids; big, sentimental third act – became very tired very quickly. Shallow Hal, Stuck on You and The Ringer were all the same cup of tea made with the same, weakening tea-bag.

As such, the announcement of Dumb & Dumber To (sic) felt like a desperate attempt to cash-in on former glories for both parties. However, if the trailer, which premiered in the States last night on The Tonight Show is any indication of what’s in store, we have much to look forward to. From the brilliant opening gag (and Carrey’s magnificent pajamas) to the octogenarian-troubling coda, there are more laughs in here than the last five Farrelly Brothers movies combined.

Lovely as it is to see Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd Christmas back together, it’s Jim Carrey on dynamite form, front and centre, that’s been a missing jigsaw piece in all our lives for too long. The original, twenty year old movie has passed the test of time – a rare thing in comedy – so for all our sakes, let’s hope that “Part To” will give us all a merry Christmas…though you might want to skip the turkey after watching this.

Dumb & Dumber To is released in the UK on December 19th.

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