There’s an inner nine year-old in us all, dying to get out, to laugh at pratfalls, slaps, eye-pokes and fart jokes.
That’s what Fox and the Farrelly Brothers are counting on. That’s why they’ve revived “The Three Stooges,” those princes of the puerile, champions of the childish and lions of lowbrow.
And from the moment Larry David appears, in full nun’s wimple and habit, as Sister Mary-Mengele (Hah!), this updating of the Stooges “wirks.”
We meet them the day they’re hurled, in a bundle, at the door of an orphanage. They grow into troublesome orphans with bad haircuts. Even as ten year olds, Moe (young Skyler Gisondo), Larry (Lance Chantiles-Wertz) and Curly (Robert Capron of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”) just say “Nyuck” and are accidents waiting to happen.
“No wonder parents didn’t want youse,” Sister Mary-Mengele hisses. But Mother Superior (Jane Lynch) and Sister Rosemary (Jennifer Hudson) tolerate them. For decades.
So that when, 35 years after arriving there, their orphanage faces foreclosure, the sort-of adult Larry (Sean Hayes), Curly (Chris Diamantopoulos) and Moe (Will Sasso) are there to save the day.
But it’s going to be impossible to raise $830,000 through odd jobs, even if Moe is “startin’ to get half a brain in my head.” Fortunately, they run into a femme fatale (Sofia Vergara, at her Vergara-iest) who wants them to smother her “dying” husband.
Little does she know she’s hired mayhem in high-water pants for the job.
“Those three eeeeeeediiots!”
The Kardashian girls?”
Little does anyone know these three are in over their heads in the modern world.
“Are you guys on Facebook? I’ll poke you!”
Nyuck nyuck nyuck.
The Farrellys, who have fallen off outrageous “out there” comedy’s cutting edge in recent years, manage the right tone, and scored with their casting. This was due to have Oscar winning stars, but thankfully, Sean Penn is nowhere to be found. The new Stooges are affectionate homages to the originals, Moe and Curly Howard and Larry Fine. Hayes (of TV’s “Will & Grace”) is the most mannered, and the only one you see giving a performance. Not that he isn’t funny as all get out. But Sasso and Diamantopoulos ARE Moe and Curly.
The Farrellys cleaned up their act for a kiddie audience. They even appear on camera for a “don’t do this at home” disclaimer at the end, because, as ever, the Stooges are for kids.
Not that plenty of grownups won’t get a kick out of what Moe does to “The Jersey Shore.”
MPAA Rating:PG for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language
Cast: Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Hudson
Credits: Directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly, written by Bobby and Peter Farrelly and Mike Cerrone
Running time: 1:32