Dumb And Dumber To
Rated PG-13 for crude humor, profanity, sexuality, partial nudity and drug references
Carrey And Jeff Daniels Reunite For Another Round Of Hijinks As Dimwitted BFFs
It took the Farrelly Brothers, Peter and Bobby, two decades to bring back co-stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels for a follow-up to Dumb And Dumber, their hit comedy that netted nearly a quarter of a billion dollars at the box office in 1994. Far be it from this critic to suggest that the long-anticipated sequel was worth the wait, though I suspect it won’t disappoint fans nostalgic for more of the same from the bottom-feeding franchise.
Dumb And Dumber To again coalesces around the terminally-inane antics of Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels), gullible dimwits with a penchant for both playing and being the butt of practical jokes. As the film unfolds, we learn that, for the last 20 years, Lloyd has been committed toBaldyViewMental Hospital, where he’s undergone shock treatments and a partial lobotomy.
Faithful Harry, meanwhile, has been a daily visitor, regularly changing the bag of urine waste attached to his pal’s private parts. Today, however, the wheelchair-bound patient giggles “Gotcha!” to reveal that his protracted stay in the asylum has all been a gag staged purely for his buddy’s benefit. After admiring the elaborate ruse, Harry rips the catheter out of Lloyd’s penis roughly, with the help of a couple of obliging groundskeepers. Ouch!
The reunited roommates immediately make their way home to their apartment where they proceed to pull a mean-spirited prank on their apprehensive, blind next-door neighbor (Brady Bluhm) by feeding Pop Rocks to his pet birds. (Don’t try that at home, kids!) Harry subsequently exposes the anus of their cat to explain why he refers to it as Butthole, another joke that merely falls flat. Equally unfunny is the introduction of a drug dealer (Bill Murray), whose crystal meth Harry mistakes for candy.
Such lowbrow fare serves as prologue and proves to be par for the course for the peripatetic adventure about to ensue. Yes, the farfetched road trip does revolve around the rudiments of a plot, though that’s ostensibly of less concern to the filmmakers than seizing on the flimsiest of excuses to gross out their audience at every opportunity.
To summarize the story in 25 words or less, Harry has his own medical issue and is in urgent need of a kidney donor. Fortunately, he has a long-lost daughter he’s never met (Rachel Melvin) who just might be a genetic match.
With that, our brain-damaged protagonists are off on a cross-country trek in search of Penny that provides this kitchen sink shocksploit ample opportunities to slap disgusting displays of depravity and vulgarity onscreen.
Fair (1 star)
Running time: 109 minutes
Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain
Historical Drama Revisits Industrial Disaster That Devastated Indian City
On the night of December 2, 1984, a pesticide plant located in Bhopal, India, spewed tons of toxic gas into the air as the result of a reaction of water with a chemical called Methyl Isocyanate (MIC). By morning, over 10,000 dead bodies lay in the streets of the city, while the manufacturer company responsible for the disaster, Union Carbide (subsequently acquired by Dow Chemical), proceeded to lawyer up.
In the end, the corporation settled the mammoth wrongful death lawsuit for just $300 per corpse without taking responsibility or publicly apologizing for the industrial accident. Instead, the firm claimed it was a victim of sabotage on the part of a disgruntled employee, an allegation which was ultimately never substantiated. Yet, despite the existence of evidence that Union Carbide had ignored warning signs of an impending calamity, the Indian government let it off without any criminal consequences.
Directed by Ravi Kumar, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain is a historical drama ostensibly inspired by the book Bhopal: Lessons Of A Gas Tragedy by the New York Times reporter Sanjoy Hazarika. The picture stars Martin Sheen as Warren Anderson, the sloganeering CEO in denial fond of spouting company lines like, “We set the highest safety standards in the industry,” and, “We are Union Carbide, united in our efforts to build a better future for everyone.”
This fictionalized account, which revisits the events leading up to the catastrophe, revolves mostly around the efforts of a couple of investigative journalists questioning Carbide’s commitment to safety, given the rumors swirling that the plant was leaking a very dangerous chemical. Both Motwani (Kal Penn), a local, and Eva Gascon (Mischa Barton), a writer for Paris Match, were stonewalled at every turn whenever they confronted executives and managers about whether an exposure to just one drop of MIC was lethal.
The picture inexorably leads to the unfortunate meltdown which scarred an entire country while the conniving culprits escaped unscathed. A sobering lesson about controlling the corporate message in this age of double speak where symbolic gestures have replaced sincerity, substance and any concern about viable solutions.
Excellent (3.5 stars)
In English and Hindi with subtitles
Running time: 96 minutes
OPENING THIS WEEK
For movies opening November 21, 2014
The Hunger Games : Mockingjay – Part 1 (PG-13 for intense violence, disturbing images and mature themes) Third installment in the vaunted sci-fi franchise, based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling series of young adult novels, finds intrepid heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) reluctantly serving as a symbol of courage and hope for a nation in revolt. Ensemble cast includes Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Jeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
All Relative (Unrated) Romantic dramedy, set in NYC, about a couple (Sara Paxton and Jonathan Sadowski) whose budding relationship becomes imperiled by the arrival of her folks for a weekend visit. With Connie Nielsen, Al Thompson, Liz Fye and David Aron Baker.
Bad Hair (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in Caracas, Venezuela, where a nine-year-old (Samuel Lange Zambrano) becomes so obsessed with straightening his kinky hair that his mother starts to wonder whether he might be gay. Supporting cast includes Beto Benites, Nelly Ramos and Maria Emilia Sulbaran. (In Spanish with subtitles)
Extraterrestrial (Unrated) Not a remake of E.T., but a horror flick about a young couple (Brittany Allen and Freddie Stroma) whose romantic getaway to a cabin in the woods is rudely interrupted when a UFO crash lands nearby. With Melanie Papalia, Jesse Moss and Anja Savcic.
Food Chains (Unrated) Forest Whitaker narrates this politically progressive documentary chronicling the exploitation of farm workers by supermarkets. Featuring commentary by Robert Kennedy, Jr., Eve Ensler, Eva Longoria, Kerry Kennedy and Eric Schlosser.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Unrated) Horror flick, set in an Iranian ghost town whose denizens are being stalked by a lonely vampire (Sheila Vand). With Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh and Mozhan Marno. (In Persian with subtitles)
Happy Valley (Unrated) Pedophilia atPennState is the subject of this shocking documentary examining why legendary football coach Joe Paterno looked the other way for years while his defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was raping young boys right in the locker room.
Little Hope Was Arson (Unrated) Bible Belt documentary about the 2010 reign of terror inEast Texas when 10 churches were burned to the ground by God-hating arsonists in just one month.
Pulp (Unrated) Rockumentary chronicling the reunion of the British group Pulp for the first time in 25 years in order to stage a farewell concert inSheffield,England.
Reach Me (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, violence, drug use and smoking) Serendipitous drama about the positive effect a motivational book has on a variety of readers in need of help confronting their fears. Ensemble includes Sly Stallone, Nelly, Lauren Cohan, Terry Crews, Danny Aiello, Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Sizemore, Omari Hardwick, Thomas Jane and Danny Trejo.
The Sleepwalker (Unrated) Psychological thriller about the sibling rivalry which re-erupts violently when a woman (Gitte Witt) renovating a country home with her husband (Christopher Witt) gets a surprise visit from her sister (Stephanie Ellis) and future brother-in-law (Brady Corbet).
Stones In The Sun (Unrated) Author Edwidge Danticat stars in this American Dream drama about a family driven from Haiti to New York where they are forced to confront the skeletons in their closet. Co-starring Michele Marcelin, Diana Masi and Thierry Saintine. (In Creole, English, French and Haitian)
V/H/S: Viral (R for profanity, sexuality, graphic violence, gore and drug use) Third installment in the found-footage horror series revolves around fame-obsessed teens who get more than they bargained for when they unwittingly become the latest internet sensation. Co-starring Justin Welborn, Emmy Argo, Amanda Baker and Rim Basma.