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DUMB AND DUMBER: UNRATED

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly, Karen Duffy, Victoria Rowell, Mike Starr, Charles Rocket, Terri Garr
Directors: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, DTS ES 6.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: New Line Cinema
Features: See Review
Length: 113 Minutes
Release Date: January 3, 2006

“We got no food, no jobs…OUR PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!”

Film ***

There are certain movies that you simply can’t help but love. Even though as a serious film fanatic, you may get into some level of trouble for admitting that you like a certain film. Lord knows I have an endless list of guilty pleasures, and Dumb and Dumber is certainly high on that list.

Looking back, this brain-dead-and-proud-to-be actually came out at the best possible time. 1994 was a red hot year for Jim Carrey, who after two monster hits, Ace Ventura and The Mask, ended the year with what was then his biggest hit yet at the box office. Dumb and Dumber was indeed the film to solidify Carrey as the new king of cinematic comedy. It is also one of Carrey’s funniest films to date.

It was also the first taste audiences got from writing and directing team of Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who took dumb comedy to new heights and pushed the envelope whenever it needed pushing. The Farrelly’s do more than deliver on extreme sight gags and dumb humor. They set up a laugh brilliantly; having you think a joke will go one way only to surprise with the punchline, a style that resonates through this movie.

The story involves dimwitted friends for life Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels). They live together and each lead extremely dead-end lives. Then one day Lloyd, who’s a limo driver, falls head over heels in love with Mary (Lauren Holly), a woman he transports to the airport. After seeing that she inexplicably leaves a briefcase in the middle of the terminal, Lloyd rushes to get it to her but is too late, as the plane has already taken off and he has taken a hard fall to the runway.

Then Lloyd gets an idea, for one. To convince Harry to take a road trip to Aspen where the woman said she was flying to, and return the briefcase to her. He’s hoping that this generous act will help in wooing the girl. And thus, the movie begins as our two heroes hit the road.

What follows is essentially a series of riotously funny sight gags involving Lloyd and Harry’s run in with assorted characters. The most memorable of which is a moment when the two get pulled over by a traffic cop, who thinks they have been enjoying some of “grandpa’s old cough medicine” while driving. There are indeed beer bottles in the vehicle, only the happen to be empty bottles that Lloyd has just relieved himself in. The cop decides to taste test one for himself, resulting in one of the most howling funny facial gestures I’ve ever seen.

There’s even a twist to the plot about the briefcase. It turns out that Mary was making a ransom drop at the airport for a pair of kidnappers. Lloyd and Harry have unknowingly foiled that plot, leaving the criminals to think that they’re nothing short of pure professionals. The thugs strike back by fatally assaulting their pet parakeet, a moment which will later payoff as one of the funniest sight gags in the history of cinematic comedy. No matter how many times I see this movie, it will never lose its laugh factor.

Dumb and Dumber is simply one of those movies that must be revisited every few years. More than a decade down the road, it is still funny as hell. It is a career highpoint for Jim Carrey, as well as an important feat for the Farrelly Brothers, who would later deliver even more brilliant zaniness in There’s Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene, and their most hilarious offering to date, the bowling comedy Kingpin.

Check your brain at the door and enjoy!

Video ****

I never caught its initial DVD release, but New Line has delivered the visual goods with this outstanding anamorphic presentation. Image clarity is complete throughout, and colors are given a very nice touch, as well. No image flaws detected at all.

Audio ***1/2

The sound gets a tremendous boost, thanks to a 5.1 EX and a 6.1 DTS ES sound mix. Though mainly a dialogue-driven comedy, the sound works on as many areas as possible, including frequent music playback, extremely clear dialogue delivery and numerous set pieces, providing some nice surround sound effects.

Features ***

This new Platinum Series/Unrated edition includes 6 minutes of newly added footage, as well as Deleted Scenes, Alternate Endings, a new Retrospective Documentary and Theatrical Trailers.

Summary:

As far as comedies go, Dumb and Dumber will remain a surefire classic for years to come. Not many movies make me laugh hard and long as this one does, and this new Unrated Edition from New Line marks a good occasion for those who haven’t seen it in a while to check it out once more.

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