In an attempt to revive the art of slapstick comedy, directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly (Hall Pass, There’s Something About Mary) wisely keep their trademark raunchiness in their pants, presenting us with a more family-friendly Stooges outing that harkens back to their Dumb and Dumber roots. More
Told at a buzzing pace, the fish-out-of-water story is really just a canvas for the gags. After a terrible opening ten minutes (dominated by three child actors embarrassing themselves), the film immediately picks up with the introduction of Diamantopoulos, Hayes and Sasso as Moe, Larry and Curly. Their embodiment of the trio is flawless, carrying the 90-minute film with a convincing energy that never lets up, even when the wit does.
There’s a refreshing purity to the humour, freeing itself from R-rated shock gags or groan-worthy attempts at making the Stooges ‘hip’. The traditional use of goofy sound effectively sells the slapstick while the full-body ragdoll stunts make my nostalgic heart glow. Though there’s a noticeable number of flat jokes (mostly spawned from the show’s aged mannerisms), the physical comedy set pieces are performed with an impressive level of planning, timing and choreography. The opening church bell scene alone is a ballet of buffoonery.
Some of the supporting cast is wasted: Sofia Vergara’s rack is used more than her comedic talents while Jane Lynch isn’t given anything remotely funny to say or do. However, Larry David is downright hilarious as Sister Mary-Mengele, purposely ignoring any attempt at acting or sounding feminine.
The Three Stooges is stupid, but it’s well-done stupidity. The Tom and Jerry-obsessed kid in me got a healthy amount of chuckles while my inner pop-culture geek received great satisfaction in seeing Moe beat the ever-loving crap out of the Jersey Shore cast. Hide