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“The Three Stooges” – Review (SO-SO)

April 14, 2012

I grew up watching old Three Stooges shorts, they’re the original knuckleheads, the three kings of physical comedy, and they set the standard to it. So, it’s only natural that the brothers behind “Dumb & Dumber” would honor their heroes by making a movie about the Stooges for a new generation. And while the Farrelly brother’s film, “The Three Stooges”, provides everything a Stooge fan would want, the question is this, was it really needed?

The movie is broken up into three episodes, like an actual Stooges short, but as a whole it’s one main cohesive story structure, so the purpose of having it broken up into three episodic title cards wasn’t needed at all, except to please the fans. The story goes as followed, Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes), and Curly (Will Sasso) must save the orphanage they grew up in, by raising the money needed to save the old place, $830,000! The boys leave the orphanage and set out on a mission to raise the money. However, the modern world isn’t too kind to Moe, Larry, & Curly since all they know is slapping, hitting, and whacking.

So, you know those fan films you see online? Made by die hards of “Ghostbusters”, “Star Wars”, or “Lord of the Rings”? Some of them are pretty good, and some are not. This was basically a bigger budget fan film, done by well-known filmmakers. For me, the movie left me smirking more than laughing. There are some funny scenes but not enough to leave an impression. This is a Three Stooges movie, an hour and a half of three actors doing incredible impressions of beloved comics, and going wild with the physical comedy. I’ll admit it, the physical comedy is up to par here. The Farrelly brothers have done it before in their films, but they’ve never gone this far.

The movies ‘episodes’, if you will, holds it’s composure and embraces the old filmmaking styles that the originals were known for; some use of high speed photography, dummy doubles used for prate falls come to mind first. The theater I was in was filled with kids, and before this movies release I wondered if kids would accept this kind of humor. To my surprise every 9, 10, 11, and 12-year-old ate it up like Jell-O. I wanted to like this film, but if it’s not the original guys, and having this movie set to a present day world, with modern music, it just felt off kilt.

On a positive note, even if the actors playing Moe, Larry, & Curly are doing impressions, they’re perfectly spot on, especially Will Sasso’s Curly. Supporting characters are ok here, but it’s Larry David’s Sister Mary-Mengele I wished had more screen time. Overall, for parents who don’t want to see “Hunger Games” this weekend, or want to find a movie to drop their kids off to see, while you attend, “The Cabin in the Woods”, “The Three Stooges” is the way to go.

GRADE: C+

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