Dumb and Dumberer

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Harry Dunne (Derek Richardson) has been schooled at home by his mother (Mimi Rogers), but the time has come for him to make some new friends. After all, his only friend to date is an imaginary pirate who he made up as a child. In order to get Harry to go to public high school, his mother draws up a treasure map that leads there. He assumes a treasure is really involved, so he studies it closely and begins his venture. At the same time, Lloyd Christmas (Eric Christian Olsen) races his catch his bus to school, even though he lives in the basement of the institution. His father Ray (Luis Guzman) is the school’s janitor and as such, Lloyd knows every single room in the place like the back of his hand, even the secret rooms. Lloyd and Harry soon run into each other and right from the start, they form a strong bond as friends. At school, Principal Collins (Eugene Levy) plans his biggest scam yet, one which will bilk the school out of a hundred thousand dollars. He plans to open a special needs class, but not spend any funds on the project and instead, use the hundred grand to purchase a condo in Hawaii. Of course, Harry and Lloyd are chosen as the first students for the class and they soon pick out a wild assortment of fellow classmates. But will Collins’ plan work as he foresees, or will these dummies somewhat outwit the principal?

As we all know, Dumb and Dumber has become a comic masterpiece of sorts, a genuine lowbrow classic. Of course, a sequel didn’t follow because of Jim Carrey’s rise to elite level stardom, at least until now. As Carrey refused to return to his role as Lloyd Christmas, the producers decided to make a prequel, as opposed to a sequel. In an effort to replace Carrey’s monumental presence, the producers hauled in Eric Christian Olsen (Not Another Teen Movie), who out and out mimics Carrey’s mannerisms and vocal patterns. I have to admit, Olsen’s turn is a fantastic lift of Carrey’s shtick, but even so, he doesn’t have the same kind of magic. In the original Dumb and Dumber, some of the most retarded scenes in cinema history were unrolled, with hilarious results, whereas here, the situations are just plain stupid. I do think a few scenes drew big laughs, but not very many and on the whole, more jokes were misses than hits. It was also fun to see Bob Saget again, though his screen time was minimal. I hate to state the obvious, but without Carrey and Jeff Daniels back in the roles they made famous, this one was doomed to tank. So if you’re expecting another hilarious movie like the original, you’ll be let down here. But if you just want a few brainless laughs, then give Dumb and Dumberer a rental.

Video: How does it look?

Dumb and Dumberer is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This movie isn’t a visual marvel, but New Line’s presentation is still top drawer. Of course, the pristine print and razor sharp details kind of go to waste on this film, since the visuals are so basic. As I said, the print is in excellent condition, without even minor debris or grain to mention. No edge enhancement or other compression issues either, as usual with New Line. I found colors to be vivid and bold, with no signs of errors, while contrast is stark throughout, with well balanced black levels. The image has good depth also, so subtle detail is very evident. This is another superb effort from New Line, who even give bad movies great transfers.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is your basic dialogue driven comedic soundtrack, though a few bells & whistles knock it up a notch. I still wouldn’t mark this as a high end mix, even by normal comedy standards, but there is some life in the audio here. The included Dolby Digital 5.1 option puts the surrounds to use, but not that often and for the most part, this is a front channel experience. That is not a complaint however, as the overall presentation is terrific. I noticed a lot of effective channel separation, which adds a lot of depth to the material. No troubles with dialogue either, as vocals are well handled and have a clean, smooth presence. So not a dynamic soundtrack in terms of surround use, but a well crafted and more than passable treatment. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

An audio commentary starts us off, as director Troy Miller is joined by stars Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson. Miller’s comments are too technical in scope, which isn’t bad in most cases, but no one is interested in that stuff here. I mean, who cares how certain shots were aligned in a movie like this one? The actors provide some humorous stories, but there isn’t enough life in this track to warrant a listen. I also listened to two joke commentaries, each of which lasts a few minutes and features fictional characters. These were quite hilarious at times, though too short to really be that worthwhile. A featurette on how the leads were cast is up next, while two other featurettes offer a more general look behind the scenes. All three are rather short and promotional, but the casting one is more than worth a look. This disc also includes a selection of deleted scenes, as well as the film’s teaser & theatrical trailers.

Disc Scores