The Farrelly Brothers, (Dumb & Dumber, Hall Pass) are back, and either as punishment for their past sins or as a peace offering to their victims, this time out we are all subject to the cruel buffoonery of The Three Stooges.
Larry (Sean Hayes), Curly (Will Sasso) and Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) are back and are in fine form in the hands of these actors. The directors also remain extremely committed to following the rules of the Stooges three: beat the beans out of each other and make bad puns. The question is: can the Stooges still bring in an audience? Does it reach too far back? Was it ever funny?
We say, “If you’re old enough, see Cabin in the Woods instead, it’s much funnier.”
TAYLOR: I don’t find “guy getting hit in groin by football” funny. I never really have. I’ve never liked the Stooges. However, this film is true to the original shorts and obviously some people find it funny. I think it’s stupid. In the plus column, I thought the film used special effects well to modernize the prat falls to an extreme level and the plot, although moot, was not offensive.
HOWE: There was lots of laughter from the audience, and I sat there stoned faced. I wondered if I was watching the same movie as everyone else, as it wasn’t funny. I just think that the whoop whoop and the dog-like antics when they saw a pretty lady is old hat. It’s cheap and demeaning. What example are they setting for the younger generation?
TAYLOR: I’m certainly not concerned with being politically correct. I just think there was no point in producing such drivel from so far back in time. It’s no longer relevant. What’s next? Are we all going to learn the Charleston? Listen to How Much is That Doggie in the Window?
HOWE: … Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, The Keystone Cops. Movie companies, let it go. Let’s not keep living in the past. Let’s move forward.
TAYLOR: This is a kid’s film. It’s rated PG, but if kids weren’t the intended audience there wouldn’t have been the outtro where a comically buff and handsome Farrelly Brothers warn children not to copy the things they’ve seen The Three Stooges do. I second this warning and add the benefit of parents being able to read this review before seeing this film with impressionable youngsters. This film is nothing but cartoon violence, with real people and no consequence.
HOWE: I wouldn’t take my son to see this, even with the health warning at the end of the movie. I just don’t want to be working outside and my four year old comes up behind me and smacks me in the back of the head with a baseball bat, thinking this is funny.
TAYLOR: Uh-oh, man fall down, go boom!
Howe gives The Three Stooges half a chainsaw to the face out of five.
Taylor gives it 1.5 broken bones out of 5.
–– The feature is currently screening at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.
–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are Vernon-based film reviewers. Their column, Reel Reviews, runs twice-weekly, Friday and Sunday, in The Morning Star.