I now realize there’s something worse than a remake.
Larry, Curly and Moe are left on the door of an orphanage as babies. Together they grow up to be morons with a penchant for causing accidents who are abusive to each other, but kind-hearted to others. When the orphanage runs out of money, they hit the road (and each other) in an effort to raise $830,000 and save the day. Along the way, they get hired to do a contract killing, have a shootout by holding peeing babies, and Moe joins the cast of “Jersey Shore”.
It’s as abhorrent as it sounds.
Aside from the thin plot, the objectionable crossover, and the abject lack of comedy from anything aside from mimicking the patented Stooge slapfest routine, this movie proves a point. The Stooges were a charismatic trio of stars, they possessed the indefinable quality that lights up the screen. Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos may have the look, the voices, and have mastered the routines, but there’s still something missing. That nebulous “It”.
You can’t just take an original and reproduce it. I never got the sense watching this movie that I was watching the Three Stooges. What I mean is that I never was able to lose myself in what they were doing for what it was, and forget the fact that it was a carbon copy. Their imitations were good, but I never lost the feeling that I was watching impersonators, and accepted them for what they were doing themselves. There was always that added distance for me. I wasn’t watching three guys poke, slap and hit each other, I was watching three guys perform a routine, emulating three guys who poked, slapped and hit each other. It never rose above the level of knock-off.
The movie had absolutely nothing original to offer of its own. If it weren’t for mimicking the Stooges patented fights, it would have zero value. The storyline of the Stooges as orphaned babies who subsequently grow up and need to save their orphanage seems as though it’s been used a million times. All of the new things they had the stooges do seemed like borderline sacrilege. Accepting a murder for hire gig? Having baby piss fights? Joining “Jersey Shore”? Come on. I mean, maybe they did some of those things before, I don’t know. But it definitely felt wrong watching them now.
The movie is full of cameos but none of them add anything particularly interesting. They even left Kate Upton’s promised pool emergence on the cutting room floor… Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Larry David plays a crotchety nun, which is funny for a couple of seconds, but more in a “Hey that’s Larry David” type of way than anything else. Jane Lynch is the head nun, but she’s not given anything funny to do. Almost the entire cast of Jersey Shore is involved (Apparently Pauly D and Vinny had more sense) and given what amount to be minor roles, it’s not just some quick cameo. That in and of itself is going to be an annoyance to some people.
If you have no attachment to the original trio, yet are somehow drawn to this movie anyways, you might find it funny. Kids might too. But those of us who are familiar with Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine’s legendary comedic talents will find this a pale and unsatisfying imitation, and perhaps, like I did, an affront.