Does this November's release Dumb and Dumber To have the potential to be a worthy sequel to the original 1994 movie? Could it be what, for many filmgoers, has been a long-awaited return to form for the Farrelly Brothers, after more than a decade of lukewarm and/or divisive raunchy offerings from the duo? Well... it depends on who you ask, really.
The trailer footage for the Farrellys' latest comedy has thus far stirred up mixed feelings, especially among those who have long been eager to see Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels at last reunite onscreen as Lloyd and Harry. A newly-unveiled extended TV promo contains some fresh material (see: the bicycle gag), but it's unlikely to change most people's minds, as the majority of jokes are just recycled from previous promos for the film.
Nostalgia is a wild card factor, though, and Dumb and Dumber To is certainly banking on it (see the "Mockingbird" bit that opens the TV trailer). The first Dumb and Dumber is one of those movies that many a person can quote off the top of their head, be it from having re-watched it multiple times on cable TV or having absorbed the film's most memorable lines through sheer pop culture osmosis. Which is to say, awareness is very much there for this one.
Carrey is no longer the box office powerhouse that he was in the mid-1990s, as evidenced by his recent misfires at the box office (see: last year's The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Kick-Ass 2). The Dumb and Dumber brand sells itself, but again the question is - how well? The movie comedy landscape is quite different nowadays than it was twenty years ago, with Seth Rogen and his cohorts being the current rulers of the lowbrow humor industry (see: This Is the End, Neighbors, etc.).
Then again, Dumb and Dumber To's road trip premise - with Harry and Lloyd on the search for Harry's daughter - and reliance on old-fashioned gross-out physical comedy gags (see: the "Giblets" scene from the trailers) might stand out all the better nowadays, because of that. Old school becomes new school again, so to speak.
Similarly, because Dumb and Dumber hasn't faded so much from the public's consciousness, the sequel has a better shot at success. That wasn't so much the case with other recent belated followups that've hit the marketplace (see: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), so the box office for Dumb and Dumber To ought to be better by comparison... even if the movie isn't something to write home about.
Dumb and Dumber To opens in U.S. theaters on November 14th, 2014.