27 April 2012 | info-355-578727
Three bumbling morons with bad tempers get caught up in a murder plot while trying to save their orphanage.
The opening of this movie has a lot going for it. The screen looks bright and vibrant, like a classic THREE STOOGES short with the Stooges' theme song (a jazzy version of "Three Blind Mice") playing. They even give the different parts of the movie names, like each are different shorts. I found the opening was a pay-off for my sense of nostalgia. And, to the Farrelly Brothers' credit, they worked hard to make the movie more than a bland homage to classic physical comedy.
The opening was the best part by far. The movie presents the early years for the Stooges, so naturally, there are Stooges babies. There's nothing quite like watching a kid do a Moe impression. The child-as-Stooge presence on screen makes the ability to appreciate a joke much easier.
The movie would've been so much better if they had kept the child Stooges!
Instead, the children go away, and we meet the all new (adult) Three Stooges! This is where that aforementioned effort of the Farrelly Brothers to make the movie different fades considerably. The new Stooges are terrible actors, or at least act that way. To be fair, the movie gives these violent people with child-level IQ's large amounts of dialogue. But, considering the acrobatic technique of the original "gang of stoogery", having them stand around and chat with each other is blasphemy! Well, OK, they don't just "stand around". It is a 3 Stooges movie, so of course they have to beat each other up. The problem is that the directors think that standing around and beating each other up is the same thing.
Moe punches Curly, Larry tells Moe he shouldn't punch Curly. *Punch, punch, eye poke, ear pull, etc.!* This happens for huge chunks of the movie, and the characters awkwardly stand around while talking about their troubles.
This brings up a huge problem, the "story". The orphanage needs a lot of money, so the Stooges promise to get it. They go to the big city. Sofia Vergara and Craig Bierko try to get them to kill Sofia's husband for the cash. And they just won't stop talking about it! You could say that this is just a kids' movie, which is a fair defense, I suppose. But the jokes they squeeze in between the plot-based banter are just more Stooges punching people in the face, or large objects falling on people. It wasn't funny the second time, or the twelfth.
And throughout the movie, the audience is treated to Larry David playing an angry nun. But his character points out the basic problem that undermines the movie. Hearing angry nun dialogue like "You Stooges always mess everything up!" is made funnier when said in Larry David's voice. But it's still generic dialogue. Just as the mere presence of Jane Lynch as the head nun doesn't mean anything funny is going on.
Like I've mentioned, the Farrelly brothers really did try to make this a different movie from time to time. The highlight, probably, was when Moe gets cast in Jersey Shore. The movie didn't exploit this nearly as well as it could have (Moe punched cast members, mostly), but at least it was an original thought.
The Farrelly Brothers also tried to spruce it up with what I have to call the "Farrelly" technique. Surprisingly gross comedy! The fight scene with babies as excretory weapons was cringe-worthy, as well as the image of a lion getting hit "below the belt". It just didn't fit the good-natured, child-like nature of the Stooges. And it wasn't very funny.
This movie, when it was really trying to be exciting, was like any action comedy. Attempted plot resolution leads to attempted violence and running around. I know nostalgia is supposed to be a bad thing, but surely the presence of "Stooges as heroes" should stop a movie from looking like BEVERLY HILLS COP or so many other movies like it!
As a big Stooges fan, I did like some of the re-creations of the old shorts, and there were a few hard-earned laughs along the way. But this movie was too confident in the ability of the Stooges to make boring crap funny.
– Jason Luna
This review first appeared in Geek Speak Magazine - www.geekspeakmagazine.com