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Dumb and Dumber: Unrated Edition

The 1994 movie that kick-started the Farrelly Brothers' juggernaut of lowest-common-denominator comedies (including There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal) benefited from its fortunate coincidence with star Jim Carrey's meteoric rise as the king of broad comedy. Arriving in theaters the same year as Carrey's breakthroughs Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask, Dumb and Dumber cemented Carrey's bona fides as a boundless physical comedian. Carrey stars as Lloyd Christmas, a cocky, but mentally deficient, limo driver who falls madly in love with a preoccupied passenger en route to the airport. When Lloyd spots Mary (Lauren Holly) leaving a briefcase in the concourse, he races to return it to her, unaware that it was an intentional ransom drop by a wife worried about her kidnapped husband. Oblivious, Lloyd and his addled pal Harry (Jeff Daniels) embark on a haphazard road trip from Providence, Rhode Island to Aspen, Colorado to return Mary's cash-stuffed case, unwittingly outwitting outraged kidnappers all the way. Carrey features in nearly all of Dumb and Dumber's brightest moments, but his extraordinary presence doesn't always raise the quality of the ordinary material. Idiots the caliber of Lloyd and Harry should make for much richer comic material than writer-director team Peter and Bobby Farrelly manage to elicit, but too often they settle for mundane stupidity (like geographical confusion over the location of Aspen) and belabored grossness (a woeful diarrhea sequence, for example, is far too graphic and longwinded). As they would show in subsequent movies, the Farrellys equal their proclivity for inspired zaniness with their sloppy presentation of more abundant lesser humor, and a sense of laziness often reduces their more promising concepts to muddled mediocrities. Lloyd and Harry's stupidity fluctuates wildly from mere bad luck to half-ass delusion to incapacitating incompetence, indicating a lack of coherent forethought on the part of the creators, but enough laughs squeak through the disorganization to suffice. Also features Mike Starr, Karen Duffy, Charles Rocket, Teri Garr, NHL star Cam Neely, and Harland Williams, none of whom distinguish themselves. New Line's Dumb and Dumber: Unrated Edition ("More dumber than evur!") presents the feature in a decent anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with audio in DTS 6.1 Discrete, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, and Dolby 2.0 Surround. The barely navigable special features menu includes 10 sequences of deleted scenes (some of which appear to be no more than poor improvisation riffs) plus two alternate endings, a retrospective documentary that is a little too reverent for its subject, TV spots and trailers, and a couple of Easter eggs that are easier to navigate than the official features. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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