Thursday, April 12, 2012

A (Somewhat) Screwy Success

The Three Stooges       WWW Score: 78%

Larry, Curly and Moe - after seeing the trailer for 'The Three Stooges', there's no way in heck you'd get me to go. But thanks to its studio holding a rare 5pm screening, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't completely blow.

The creative powers behind bringing the trio back to the future - those batty Farrelly brothers - nail the crucial job of casting. A triumvirate of TV actors: Chris Diamantopoulos (Larry), Will Sasso (Curly) and Sean Hayes (Moe), transform into the iconic characters, capturing the crux of their trademarked tomfoolery.

When we meet the Stooges, the wee little ones have just been dumped on the door of an orphanage run by a gaggle of nuns including Glee's Jane Lynch and a dressed-up-in-religious-garb Larry David. The threesome create their marked mayhem straightaway, severely tainting the pool of eligible escapees with their hijinks. Upon learning their home is set to close due to a lack of funds, the Stooges set off on a journey to raise the cash required to keep the joint running.

The clash between the Stooges imbecile mentality and their implementation of it in the real world produces unexpected chuckles. A hospital scene featuring a nutty duel of urinating newborns - yes, it's a Farrelly brothers film - is beyond ridiculous and riotous to boot. But it's a trip to the zoo and stunt involving a dolphin and lion that had me (ashamedly) bursting out in pure guffaw fashion.

There are undoubtedly failures, Moe's inclusion with the cast of 'Jersey Shore' feels just as forced as it sounds. Showcasing Snooki, JWoww and The Situation on a movie screen is sheer blasphemy.

But what makes 'The Three Stooges' an especially surprising endeavor is its sheer simplicity. There's an innocence that harkens back to the filmmaking of the 80s. The seemingly requisite vulgarity that permeates 99% of comedies nowadays is MIA. The thing has a likable quality to it - it's frankly more entertaining than it has a right to be.

It's absurd, it's mindless, it's infantine but it's also bizarrely charming. My most pressing issue with 'The Three Stooges'? The Farrellys showed a bit too much restraint with their obligatory Kate Upton bikini shot.