Discovering the Relevance of Words
That’s a Dumb and Dumber reference in the title there. You see that? That counts as proof that this is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s one of the few movies that I loved as a kid that still stands up today. It is because of this fact that I feel comfortable criticizing the entire idea of making a sequel. If I condemn the sequel, it is coming from a place of love.
That being said, please don’t make this movie.
Comedy is very hard to do. When it works as well as it did back in 1994 when the original Dumb and Dumber came out it should be treated as the rare and sacred event it is. You don’t mess with that. Trying to shoehorn a sequel in to ride the tide of popularity that inevitably follows a successful comedy is like walking up to a pitcher halfway through a perfect game and wishing him luck. It just isn’t done. At least it shouldn’t be.
The sad fact is that it is almost always done. Movie making is a business, and business is shockingly unimaginative. Imagination involves taking chances. Taking chances involves risk. Businessmen hate risk. They like things that are sure to produce revenue. So, it makes all the logical sense in the world that the movie business would try to capitalize on a successful idea to make more money.
But twenty years later? I’m sad just typing this. I won’t say that this sequel will definitely be terrible, but a lot has changed in the last two decades. Jim Carrey is out of his mind now, Jeff Daniels talks like Aaron Sorkin and the Ferrelly Brothers haven’t made a good movie since the twentieth century. The odds are staked against it.
I realize I’m going to upset a few people who believe that they can go home again and that the magic of the early 90’s can be resurrected by our heroes in the studio system. I’m okay with that. Because it brings up a bigger question. Whats with all the sequels? Is it lack of original ideas or a fear of the unknown that makes sure we have a Grown Ups 2 or Fast and Furious 17 to watch instead of the imaginative and risky comedy screenplay that no one will ever read sitting at the bottom of a pile of mail on an unused desk.
Have we lost all imagination? Or is it a legitimate urge that people have to reconnect with characters they already know?
To put it another, less kind way, who’s getting lazier, the creators or the audience?