Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: The Three Stooges (2012)

Before losing all credibility for watching The Three Stooges (2012), I want to point out that the movie was directed by the Farrelly Brothers – Bobby and Peter; the two men responsible for Dumb & DumberKingpinThere’s Something About Mary, and Stuck On You.  Sure, it seems as though they might have lost a few miles per hour off the proverbial fastball given their last few outings (Hall PassThe Heartbreak Kid), but doesn’t there previous track record warrant the benefit of the doubt?  I sure thought so, and boy was I wrong.  The movie is an abomination.  There, I just laid it out for you right off the bat with no misdirection, no slight of hand, and no hidden agenda because sometimes you have to call a spade a spade (and this spade flat out stinks).

The plot of the movie follows Moe, Larry, and Curly on a journey to raise enough money to save the orphanage from whence they came.  I am going to make the assumption that you know something about The Three Stooges as previously portrayed by Moe HowardLarry Fine, and Joe DeRita.  So I don’t think I am spoiling anything by telling you that 90% of the movie involves slapping, hair pulling, and eye poking against the backdrop of some seriously nonsensical misadventures.

But here is the first problem.  This brand of comedy is dated.  A choreographed schtick of juvenile physical abuse can generate a round of laughter as a change-of-pace sight gag, but today’s audience cannot be engaged by this brand of camp for the full length of a feature film.  If the Farrelly brothers' intent was to introduce this shtick to a youthful generation, then their creative team badly misjudged the market.  It just doesn’t play anymore as a viable comedic vehicle.

And if their intention was to reach out to the demographic old enough to remember the original three by playing the nostalgia card, then they completely missed the boat in an entirely different manner, because as a respectful homage to the past, this movie is an even greater fail.  There are no big reveals, no new insights, and very little respect paid to the original work in this movie.  The nuts and bolts of this film are three low rent (sorry, Sean Hayes) unreasonable facsimiles doing crappy impressions for ninety minutes while everyone around them tries their best to underwhelm.  It is all so poorly contrived that you get the impression that the plan for this film was hatched under the influence of Patron shots.  Noticeably absent from this misguided update is the chemistry and camaraderie that defined the original three, and this serves as a stark reminder that some things simply cannot be imitated and replicated.

I am not going to go too far into the supporting cast as for the most part, no one in the movie did any real acting.  To highlight this point, I will say that Kate Upton’s portrayal of Sister Bernice (yes, a nun) was one of the more compelling performances.  I suspect that some day (if not already) Jane Lynch, Sean Hayes, Will SassoSofia VergaraLarry DavidCraig Bierko, and Jennifer Hudson will wish they could wipe this one from their IMDB pages.  And by the way, did I mention that the cast of Jersey Shore makes an appearance as well?

So to be fair, I will admit that I can foresee exactly one reason that someone should watch this movie, and that is if said person were to find that they didn’t have enough regrets in their life and were desperately in need of another.  In any other circumstance, everyone else should steer clear of this one at all costs, because it just might make you want to cancel your Netflix account and tear up your AMC Stubs rewards card.  As for the Farrelly Brothers going forward, they have on the horizon  the sequel to Dumb & Dumber starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels .  Anyone else feeling slightly less enthused about this now?

Standout Performance: Kate Upton gets the nod here because she is not an actress so she has nothing to be ashamed of with this movie.  


  1. I haven’t had a chance to see the Three Stooges, and it stinks that so many people say it isn’t worth watching. I was looking forward to seeing their slapstick comedy in color. Many of my Dish coworkers said there are quite a few funny parts in the movie. I’ve already added Three Stooges Blu-Rays to my Blockbuster @Home queue so that I can make my own opinion about it. I’ll know what to expect from it now! Thanks for the heads up.