By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Five Beers) -
Sometimes a movie comes along that elicits mixed reactions from critics and audiences alike. Such is the case for The Three Stooges, a film that is both better and worse than you’d expect. The eponymous three set off on a mission to save the Orphanage they were raised in from being shut down. Along the way, they encounter a couple plotting murder and the cast of a popular internationally syndicated freak-show.
I consider myself a Stooges fan, having grown up at a time when the AMC channel actually showed American Movie Classics (imagine that). Needless to say, I have seen just about every one of their Colombia studios short films. To be honest, the Farrelly Brothers have managed a very difficult task, that is of painstakingly re-creating the feel of classic-era Stooges slapstick comedy. The fights are wonderfully over-the top, and choreographed in such a way that, had the film been in black and white, you might have trouble discerning a difference. I found myself laughing loudly at times, particularly at moments that felt like something the Stooges might have done, given the resources present in this modern era.
Solid as the casting choices, and comedic set-pieces may be, the decision of transporting the Stooges to the present doesn’t always work. The reality-TV references seem to be placed in the movie to give MTV a nice prolonged advertisement. And the temporary satisfaction of seeing Shore-Scum Guido’s getting hit by blunt objects is tempered by the sad realization that they aren’t actually hurting anybody.
What I’m saying is: “Fuck that show”
The Farrelly Brothers also felt the need to add gross-out gags. I’m aware that these are the same filmmakers who introduced the world to jizz-comedy, but it feels like an insult to the real Stooges, who never used that sort of humor. Gross-out jokes work in the right context, but this just isn’t the setting for them.
This on the other hand…
The early part of the film, with the Stooges played by children is cute for a youtube video or something, but the novelty of children acting like adults wears off really fucking fast. And it lasts for something in the neighborhood of twenty minutes.
Like it or not, this modern iteration of the classic comedy team is doomed to be compared with the originals. And as funny as they might be, the original Stooges had a kind of natural talent for their craft that is just hard to overcome.
If you’re not laughing your ass off right now, you either have no soul, or think comedy requires fat suits.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for Curly’s trademark “soitenly!”, “Woo-woo-woo”, or “nyuck-nyuck-nyuck”
Take a Drink: for each prat-fall (good luck surviving this one)
Take a Drink: anytime they call Sister Mary-Mengele by name (They’re really proud of that joke… rightly so).
Drink a Shot: for fart and piss jokes
Pour One Out: because we apparently missed out on our opportunity to have Moe, Larry and Curly played by Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, and Jim Carrey respectively.
Here’s to you; anonymous internet photoshop guy…