Weekend movies: Critics dump all over “Dumb and Dumber To”

toReviews won’t hurt “Dumb and Dumber To.” The college crowd I caught it with ate it up. Granted, they weren’t Ivy Leaguers, but I dare say a generation that grew up with the original semi-raunchy Two Stooges Throwback are going to be all over the AARP qualified Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.

But the reviews have been pretty brutal. A few fell for its sentimental streak, and underwear stains. But not many. Watching “Horrible Bosses 2” last night I was struck again by how dated the Farrelly Brothers’ PG-13 grossout slapstick seems now. Their style may come back, but the Carrey and Mike Myers style of character farce — broad, cartoonish, unreal — has given way to believable dopes played by Will Ferrell, Ed Helms, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis.

The good reviews this weekend go to Jon Stewart’s directing debut, “Rosewater.” A good film telling the story of a journalist not exactly beaten to the edge of death in an Iranian prison. He was famous enough to have Stewart and Hilary Clinton, among others, rattling Iranian mullahs for his release. So his suffering seems pale by what the movies normally show us. But it’s realistic and commonplace, Stewart and the film’s subject prisoner told me.

The better reviews roll in for Tommy Lee Jones’ “The Homesman.” Hilary Swank leans into another Oscar worthy turn as a spinster who, with an old rascal (Jones) escorts three crazy women from the desolate prairie to Back East. Very good, I thought.

“Beyond the Lights” is a simple “Bodyguard” style take on music, the music biz, stardom’s cost today — but it stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and critics such as myself are totally smitten. Very good reviews for a genre piece.

Then there’s “Foxcatcher,” the best reviewed release opening this weekend. OK, limited release.VERY limited release. Wider soon. Steve Carell, Chaning Tatum and Mark Ruffalo also transform themselves for this (somewhat) true story about the rich DuPont heir who murdered a wrestler.

This entry was posted in previews, profiles and movie news, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Weekend movies: Critics dump all over “Dumb and Dumber To”

  1. Gord Lindsay says:

    I think you are absolutely right about the old-fashioned quality of Dumb and Dumber TO but I think you are wrong not to appreciate the artfulness of it. Here is my brief Google review:

    Just saw Dumb and Dumber TO!

    Random comments heard at the cocktail reception afterwards:

    “Sets back the cause of film 70 – 80 years.”

    “Makes you yearn for the Silent Film era.”

    “I kept waiting for the third Stooge …”

    These, of course, are all very insightful comments. The Farrelly brothers have, very consciously, made an extremely stylized movie which, in plot, action, speech, cadence, and tone adheres very strictly to the hyper, slapstick, slightly disjointed, slapdash, even otherworldly genre of comedies from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. It’s an extremely accurate mimicry, and it brought back fond memories of my childhood watching the idiot box, and all the idiots on it.

Comments are closed.