It’s hard to believe, but 20 years have passed since we last saw Dumb & Dumber’s Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) on the big screen. (The 2003 prequel doesn’t count.) It’s hard to believe these characters are still alive after all these years, but Lloyd had some help, thanks to a decades-long prank that left him institutionalized for most of that time. Plot details are somewhat sketchy in the new trailer for Dumb and Dumber To, but it seems that Harry unknowingly fathered a child in 1991. When he gets the news, he joins forces with Lloyd and goes on some kind of mission to reunite with his long-lost daughter.
The main impressions left by this new trailer are 1. There will be no shortage of gross-out humour (a catheter is removed violently, Lloyd has some inappropriate contact with a senior). 2. There’s something exceedingly creepy (and yes, kind of amusing) about seeing Lloyd’s little-boy haircut on a 52-year-old Jim Carrey.
However, judging from the more negative comments on YouTube (“cringe-worthy,” “this is going to be absolutely terrible,” “this sucks,” “so painful to watch”), it seems some fans of the original are likely to be disappointed. A quick look at the Dumb & Dumber trailer from 1994 makes the differences instantly apparent. Whereas the new trailer is consistently over-the-top, the original had a more subdued charm. The situations in the original are more relatable and the performances are more credibly restrained, heightening the impact when Carrey lets loose. There’s even some vaguely subtle wit in the original trailer, including the decision to quote high-minded writers like Oscar Wilde, Henry David Thoreau, and Edgar Allen Poe in the context of a thoroughly brain-dead comedy.
Carrey’s new take on Lloyd lacks the good-natured innocence that made him so appealing the first time around and there isn’t a single gag in the new trailer that equals the best moments from the original’s trailer. But to be fair to the Farrelly Brothers, it’s quite possible that the new trailer offers a misleading sense of Dumb and Dumber To. It wouldn’t be the first time a comedy trailer promised something far less worthwhile than the film itself. Whatever your feelings about the trailer, it would be dumb to reach your verdict about the movie before it arrives in theatres on November 14.