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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > The Three Stooges

MOVIE REVIEWS

THE THREE STOOGES (2012)

Starring Will Sasso, Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kate Upton, Jane Lynch, Sofía Vergara, Jennifer Hudson, Craig Bierko, Stephen Collins, Larry David, Kirby Heyborne, Carly Craig, Marianne Leone, Brian Doyle-Murray, Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino, Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi, Jenni 'JWoww' Farley, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Sammi 'Sweetheart' Giancola, Dwight Howard and Antonio Sabato Jr..

Screenplay by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly.

Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly.

Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox.  92 minutes.  Rated PG.

 

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The Three Stooges

All you really need to know about the relative importance of the Farrelly Brothers’ long-gestating passion project in modern Hollywood is just this: When the Brothers first announced the film idea a few years ago; their announced cast consisted of the buzz-worthy trio of Jim Carrey, Benicio del Toro and a hot-off-his-Best-Actor-Oscar Sean Penn.  All three of these actors eventually backed out and the try-outs were on to find a new version of the classic old-Hollywood comedy troupe.  Rumor has it that Johnny Depp, Paul Giamatti, Hank Azaria, James Marsden, Justin Timberlake, Andy Stamberg and Johnny Knoxville were also approached and on the verge of signing on at different points.

Three years later, the movie stumbles into theaters and the stars are former Will & Grace sidekick Sean Hayes and two other guys that most of us have never heard of before.  For the record, Will Sasso is best known for MAD-TV and Chris Diamantopoulos had done voices in American Dad and was in… umm… The Starter Wife?  (Well, at least he and Hayes could bond over Debra Messing stories during breaks in filming.)

From A-List movie stars to semi-obscure TV personalities in the matter of just a few years.   Is that what they call downward mobility?

Why, coitainly!!! N’yuk, n’yuk, n’yuk, n’yuk, n’yuk!

The Farrelly Brothers, who just over a decade ago owned Hollywood after There’s Something About Mary, Dumb & Dumber and Kingpin, are now apparently on the outside looking in if this is the best talent they can scrounge up. I’m not even necessarily saying that as a swipe at Hayes, Sasso and Diamantopoulos as actors, I’m just saying that for a movie that the Farrellys have pinned their hopes of reviving their careers on, you’d think they could at least get one big-name actor to sign on the dotted line.

However, perhaps in the long run, they were better off.  In this lighter than air trifle, big named actors - particularly with serious dramatic chops like Sean Penn - would have probably been too much of a distraction.  Here, we look at the characters rather than the actors, for better or worse.

And, in fairness, the guys here do a pretty spot-on job of imitating the older actors - only Hayes periodically feels like he is performing his gags with a tiny bit of post-modern cynicism, the other two surrender themselves to the characters completely.

Which means that whether or not you find the movie funny will depend entirely on how funny you find the Stooges - and whether their ancient comic moves even can be translated into the modern world.

I suppose that The Three Stooges does it as well as any modern film could, but it still feels like an anachronism. 

The most blatant proof that The Three Stooges is just totally out of place in the modern world comes at the end of the film.  After an hour and a half of violent slapstick mayhem, the Farrellys feel the need to do a short disclaimer in which they explain that these stunts were done by professionals and should not be tried at home.  Then they go farther to demonstrate that the hammers to the head are made of rubber and then give a slo-mo demonstration of the way the eye-gouge gag is done without anyone getting hurt.

The real Moe, Larry and Curly must be rolling in their graves.

If the Farrellys can't even trust their audience to know enough to not to hit each other on the head with a hammer, then why would they possibly want to make a movie about the Three Stooges?

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: April 13, 2012.

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Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: April 13, 2012.

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