Look what you missed out on Jim Carrey, Sean Penn, and Benicio Del Toro.
While trying to save their childhood orphanage, Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes), and Curly (Will Sasso) inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and wind up starring in a reality TV show.
This has been considered The Farrelly Brother‘s passion project ever since they first broke-out onto the comedy scene with ‘Dumb and Dumber’. And as much as I want to stick up for these guys here as I’ve done in the past, I have to say that I think it’s time for them to choose another hobby if this is their passion.
I’m just going to say it now, I loved The Stooges growing up. I always would sit down on the couch late at night, turn on TV Land or whatever station was playing them and just sit back and laugh my ass off. That said, I was not a huge fan of this movie. Where I think this film hit its problems with even before it was made, was that the film sets these guys in the 21st century, when all of their material was made around the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. This means a lot of the comedy that was so fresh, hilarious, and ground-breaking back in those days, may come off as a bit dated and too slap-sticky for some people’s tastes, which is exactly what happens. The Three Stooges have had their own time in comedy history where you can watch any episode of theirs, and you can find something new to laugh at even if it just Moe hitting Larry over the head with a hammer. However, placing them in a time where stuff like this is usually a lame way of getting laughs, definitely makes it a big stretch.
You would also think that since this project has been in development for so damn long that everybody involved would actually come up with some new stuff that would still be loyal to The Stooges but also make us laugh, right? However, that’s not the case and instead we get a bunch of material we have seen used from them time and time before such as these guys hitting each other in the head, somehow tied together by a plot of saving an orphanage and having these guys realize that they all love each other. It’s definitely weak in plot terms, but I wasn’t going to see this movie for an Oscar-winning plot, I just wanted to see some funny stuff happen and I barely got that.
I’m over here trashing this film like no other but I honestly can’t say that I didn’t laugh at this because believe it or not, there were a couple of real chuckles that come out of me during this one. I knew what to expect from The Stooges right beforehand so all of the hitting and biting was a little annoying for me, but the moments when Larry is dropping puns out the wah-zoo all had me laughing and even a couple of other wise-cracks throughout the film had me cracking up too. Probably my favorite part of this whole movie that may be worth the price of admission (that is, if you go to see this) is when Moe gets to go on “Jersey Shore” and he practically beats the crap out of every cast member, Stooges style. It was very funny to see not only because I would love to see these bastards actually get beat up like this in real-life, but because it showed a pop-culture reference that actually worked here even though having the cast on is pretty much a pop-culture reference in and of itself.
As much as people may be bitching and complaining about how two comedic legends like Del Toro, Penn, and grand thespian Carrey didn’t get into this after all, you can’t really complain with the actual cast of guys they have playing the famous Stooges. Sean Hayes does a great job as Larry with a pitch-perfect Philly accent (trust me, I should know); Will Sasso does a very tolerable job as Curly and not only looks, but sounds exactly like him the whole time; and Chris Diamantopoulos may not be as impressive here as Moe, but he still has plenty of moments where he gets to strut his comedic stuff as well. All three guys do great impersonations of The Stooges and even though I won’t go so far as to say that they evolve into these roles, they do nice jobs of not ruining their legacies either.
The supporting cast is kind of lame but I think that’s why The Stooges were basically front and center just about the whole time. Jane Lynch does absolutely nothing funny here as Mother Superior, and I don’t know if that was on purpose or that she just didn’t feel like being funny; Larry David started to get really annoying with his raspy/transgender-like voice as the appropriately named Sister Mary-Mengele; Jennifer Hudson is only here to stretch some of her vocal chords for one scene where she breaks out into song and that’s pretty much it; and Sofía Vergara is definitely a great sight to look at and also knows how to make herself look like a goof, but maybe it’s time I saw something new from her. Lame supporting cast but that’s basically why it’s called ‘The Three Stooges’ in the first place.
Consensus: The Three Stooges is not as bad as I (along with plenty, plenty others) was expecting it to be, but it still features tired jokes and a supporting cast that isn’t very funny either. However, if you loved The Three Stooges, and grew up watching them, then this is the film for you because anything that you could ever want from a Three Stooges movie is here, with the extra hit to the head with Moe’s hammer. Even though I did used to watch them and love them, the film is a little stretched out a bit too far.