No matter what you thought of the original "Dumb and Dumber" when it released in 1994, the film brought a spate of other movie comedies where the characters were as dumb as dumber is. Whether it was merely a satiric off-branch of "Forrest Gump" that released earlier the same year (the original poster mimicked the park bench Forrest sits on), more moronic cinematic characters were forthcoming. Almost all of them were done to the point of deliberate annoyance and without any clever twists as Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey managed.
But it's not an easy road playing a deliberately dumb character in a movie. It's no wonder Daniels and Carrey could never initially agree to a sequel until now, no doubt out of fear of that persona being a little too compelling and sticking to their resumes. Wisely, Daniels headed back to act in some terrific dramas, with Carrey attempting the same thing.
It's known now that Carrey didn't make his dramatic license continue as long as it should have. He seems to be realizing now that the comedies he did in the 1990s are his best bet in re-introducing himself to potentially new fans after a slight break from the movies. And if he made a cottage industry of playing slightly or profoundly dumb characters, the toleration level for that today may have been leveled.
All cases in point are some of the recent comedies made utilizing stupid behavior and how fast they fell off the box office radar. In fact, some people may end up using Jar Jar Binks from "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" as the moment stupid movie characters were banished to the allegorical cornfield. When a film can't even wring a laugh out of such a pointless character, it rips an irreparable hole in the movie comedy fabric.
Then you have the rare exceptions, like many of the characters in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." In that regard, the dumbness was dialed down a few notches to the point of many of them being clueless about how the world works rather than having the inability to hold a professional job. It may explain why the "Anchorman" franchise became such a cult favorite and perhaps is the new template for the new definition of dumb, otherwise known as naivete.
Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne in "Dumb and Dumber" were always a mystery as to whether they realized the level of their halfwit nature. Viewers were taken to believe the two were naïve to their intellectual ineptness, yet it seemed hard to stretch credulity that they weren't acting that way just to live a certain lifestyle to point of annoyance. While a sequel might be interesting to see how they survived over the last 19 years, they'll have to be smartened up a little to keep audiences from walking out.
That's because if the two are still as dumb as they were in the first, nothing will be believable. Then it'll turn into an excuse for a bevy of stupid acts on the road (or perhaps this time at home).
The film may also face one of the tallest questions involved in showing stupidity on film: Is the film poking fun at the mentally challenged? In a more P.C. world since 1994, the borderline dumb world of "Anchorman" may be where "Dumb and Dumber" should hover around to prove Lloyd and Harry have the mental capability to increase their I.Q. points.