Okay, class, repeat after me: It takes smarts to play dumb. And if you need any further proof, rent Dumb and Dumber before going out to see Dumb and Dumberer, as I did. How invigorating to watch Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels plumb the depths of that pair of Moe-less stooges, Lloyd and Harry. (And the bathroom scene holds up!) How dispiriting to watch Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson skip through the shallows of a younger, but not discernibly dumber, Lloyd and Harry. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd is, technically speaking, a prequel. (That's a fancy word for paycheck.) But the fact that the Farrelly brothers had nothing to do with the movie should have been a warning to us. Stupid is as stupid does. Dumb and Dumberer doesn't.
Olsen does, almost. Given the bowl haircut and a set of threads that most nerds wouldn't be caught dead in, he bears a frightening resemblance to Carrey's Lloyd. And he tries to stretch his facial features this way and that, like a cartoon. But he hasn't been given any decent material to work with ' no break-out moments. And the director (Troy Miller) is so clueless he manages to waste the formidable talents of Eugene Levy and Cheri Oteri, as high school administrators trying to attract funding for a bogus "special needs" class. The allusion to mental retardation is unfortunate, spoiling the fun of laughing at our learning-challenged friends. But, truth be told, the fun was spoiled long before that, when the original geniuses refused to come back out and play.