It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the original Dumb And Dumber was released right in the middle of the meteoric rise of Jim Carrey to mega stardom. A much loved and oft quoted film, the original has previously spawned a (terrible) prequel so to dip a toe in sequel territory would seem a risky proposition.
Luckily, this time around, this instalment at least stars the original actors instead of a cast of total unknowns and with the Farrelly brothers also both back on board to direct there was always a glimmer of hope that this could turn out OK.
This time around the plot centres around Harry and Lloyd who are now middle aged but as stupid as ever. Harry is in need of a kidney, and, needing to find a blood relative to donate one, finds out that he is a father upon visiting his adopted parents and picking up some 18 year old mail containing a postcard from Freda Felcher. Cue a road trip to track down the estranged offspring and hope to persuade them to part with said vital organ.
After a decent opening scene, a decidedly lacklustre first 15 minutes leaves you wondering exactly how terrible this film might turn out but after a visit to Freda there follows one of the funniest jokes in recent memory and things pick up nicely. Whilst the shape of the plot is largely the same as the original film it does not try to hide from this and makes no apologies for it.
Where it will inevitably come in for some criticism will be the perceived laziness of the writing as Harry and Lloyd trot out some of the same catchphrases and mannerisms that were part of what made the first film so funny. It is fair to say however that given the titular brain power of our erstwhile duo this should not detract from proceedings and indeed brings a certain comfort than if these elements were missing. It is almost an irony of the popularity of the first that the endlessly quotable lines which are repeated will likely come in for the starkest complaints.
Plenty of jokes come flying along throughout and whilst some hit and some miss, there is enough here to keep the viewer entertained. It is fair to say that whilst the character traits in the original involved lovable stupidity there is a slightly darker slant to Harry and Lloyd this time which is perhaps a little jarring in places. There are plenty of cameos involving the bit part players from the original which is again a nice touch and both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels resurrect their characters with good form.