“Was it really stupid?” was the question my wife asked as I walked in from seeing “The Three Stooges.”
Of course, it was stupid. The Stooges define stupidity … and grossness, and slapstick violence and utter absurdity.
But, these are things most boys like.
There is nothing new or clever about “The Three Stooges.” If you are going to do this movie, it has to be the Stooges, it cannot be about the Stooges. Moe, Larry and Curly are well-cast and they follow legacy scenarios precisely.
To that end, everything is true to form — punching, gouging, pushing, falling, mayhem in constant motion. The difference this time is that production quality is way up and the Stooges are in the hands of the Farrelly brothers.
The Farrellys have long pressed outrageousness to the limits of “R” ratings. There is no aspect of human behavior they will not mock; there is no diving décolletage they don’t admire (enter Sofia Vergara in her low-cut V-neck sweater). They are shameless and still manage to be funny.
But the “Stooges,” with their puns and double entendres, remain “PG.” Somehow, Vergara’s ample figure remains focused without becoming offensive.
What you come to realize is that Stooge mayhem is pretty tiresome between just the three of them. However, mixed with the likes of Vergara and Craig Bierko (bad guys) or Jane Lynch and Larry David (nuns in habit at the orphanage), all in the hands of the Farrellys, the material can work.
There is virtually no story; the Stooges don’t rely on plot or structure. What separates this film from old is their terrific supporting cast.
To answer my wife, the film is pointless and stupid and yet … like about 100 other kids in the theatre, I was laughing out loud.
Jim Wigge is a Cazenovia resident and film-aficionado. After retiring from his career as an engineer, he has been reviewing movies for the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached through the editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.