Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Three Stooges (2012)

Directed by the Farrelly Brothers

Long in pre-production hell and after names like Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Bencio del Toro’s names dropped off the casting list, the Farrelly Brothers have finally released their much anticipated remake dedicated to the original kings of comedy, The Three Stooges. While it has been 12 years since Mel Gibson’s produced ABC docu-drama on the real life tragedy of the troupe, the Farrelly Brothers bring us the Stooges as we remember them from the black and white shorts currently in rotation on AMC. 

After literally being dropped off at an orphanage by their parents, brothers Moe, Larry and Curly spend their childhood unable to be selected for adoption and remain at the orphanage into their 30’s into the figures as we know them best. News comes down that the orphanage owes $800K in 30 days or else it will be closed down, so the boys head out into the real world to come with the dough. It doesn’t take long for the boys to end up in the middle of murder scam with scheming lovers played by Sophia Vergara and Craig Bierko. Then, it is time for the Stooges to get down how they know best.

In the wrong hands, rights to a Stooges film could have been a complete mess. Thankfully, the Farrelly Brothers are on the case with their film for true fans made by true fans and their passion is evident throughout. One easy example is how the film is broken down into three sections, each constructed as a Three Stooges short complete with the theme song, credits and all. So right from the beginning, you feel like you are being transported back to those days of watching the Stooges on TV when you were a kid. 

Just as important as it is to have the right creative minds behind the camera, it is equally as important to have the same output in front of it. Enough credit cannot be given to the Farrelly for their selections to imitate the legends, especially when the above mentioned names ignited the original hype in 2009, only to drop off after studio complications. Instead, we have walking clones of the boys – Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry and Will Sasso as Curly. And each of these actors nail their characters on the head in facial expressions, vocal tones and dialogue delivery. It is evident that these three actors not only spent copious amounts of time learning all of the intricacies of their characters, but that they are also true fans at hear as well, because not just any actors could pull off what they are able to in this film.

Another beautiful thing about The Three Stooges is that it is “fish-out-of-water” film that does not emphasize too much on our characters being too bouncy of seafood and completely following that typical formula. It takes place in recent times, but our Stooges talk and act the same exact way they did in their early shorts. They might not be privy to modern technology, but these situations are only used to re-create the dry humor of Stoogemania. Don’t know if this was intended or not, but the film’s plot is very reminiscent of the 80’s Nintendo game, where the Stooges have to take on odd jobs, many of which re-enact their greatest shorts, to earn enough scratch in 30 days to save an orphanage. 

If you are a Stooges fan, you will be happy to know that the Farrellys’ re-creation of your favorite comedy geniuses is a triumphant tribute to their legacy and well worth the wait to enjoy. For those hardcore fans looking for something new to the Stooge universe, this is the next best thing you are going to get to the genuine article. And don't be turned off by those Jersey Shore scenes in the trailer because they are brief and surprisingly work well in the context of the film. You will be too busy be entertained with eyepokes, head hammers, face slaps, and other Stooge physical comedy. 




Craig Edwards said...

Hear! Hear! Loved this movie, and now I love your review of it!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Yaaaay! I'm a huge Stooge fan and was both dreading and looking forward to it. It's nice to know that it lives up to it's goal of being an homage to the trio. BTW, I played that Stooges game and loved it. My favorite mini-game was when Larry had to run down the street jumping over stuff. That and the trivia.

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