Movie Reviews

‘The Three Stooges': All pain. No brain

By Patrick BenjaminMovies - 26 July 2012 3:31 PM | Updated 3:46 PM

‘The Three Stooges': All pain. No brain

The Three Stooges, Curly Larry & Moe hatch a harebrained plan to save their orphanage

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

“All pain. No brain.” Yes, that is most definitely the best tagline for America’s favourite ludicrous misfits from the 1930s. Stupidly violent or violently stupid antics are pretty much the grist for the latest celluloid offering by the Farrelly brothers.

Well, it would have been thoughtful if the poster designers would have included in fine print, that a self-lobotomy is required before entering the theatre to catch this flick.  After all this long awaited film was like 25 years in the making at four different studios and it had more than all the time in the world to go berserk on all those little details. 

Like any good pair of revisionists and obsessed fan boys, Peter and Bobby Farrelly have churned out 92 minutes of nutty natter and highly stylized comedic violence in the form of nose-pulls, eye-pokes, slaps and groin kicks. The story is structured in three episodes including cutesy chapter credits, a throwback to the early days of television.

And the knuckleheads are off

So what if we didn’t have the star power of Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Jim Carrey who were initially wooed to be in this project? The trio of Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes) and Curly (Will Sasso) perfectly capturing all the nuances of zany and destructive antics in full glory as they are thrown into the world to raise the $830,000 to save the orphanage they grew up in.  

As far as physical lampooning replete with retrosque sound effects goes, the infantile trio were on song from the second they entered the frame (big thumbs up to the infants and kids who played the younger stooges too).

The verbally based capers were more often than not flatulent duds, with the IPhone joke so particularly stale and revolting that this reviewer would be the least surprised if Steve Jobs’ ashes whimper into a teardrop shape in his urn.   

Sister Mary-Mengele, obviously a snide ode in moniker to Nazi physician Josef Rudolf Mengele was played by ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’s’ Larry David, the Jewish stand-up who is known for his barbed witticism. Donning the uncomfortable habit, he was in prime form as he snarls with his politically incorrect repartee.   

To some in the audience, the cameos by the cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ as Moe gate-crashes into their TV show might have been a stroke of genius. But this reviewer thinks otherwise, the cheap gimmick of making an ode to noughties gutter humour (especially when the folks involved were listlessly muttering their lines) was like a painful plonk to the head.

Doncha wish that all nuns looked like this? That's a "nunkini" in case you're asking

Like a sinfully calorific In-N-Out burger, the corny threesome was always better in wee sketches than gratuitous 92 minutes of nyuk-nyuk-nyuk mayhem. Trust us, if you have seen the trailer, which includes generous peepages of the bosoms of Sister Bernice (Kate Upton) and Lydia (Sofia Vergara), you would have seen everything worth seeing without being bored by the rest. 

Have you ever paid decent money to watch an acclaimed cover band tackle the greatest hits of your now defunct favourite musical outfit? Well, everything seems smack on cue, but there is that something from that ancient bootleg lacking in it all.

So if you are on the prowl for a lowbrow charmer with a generous serving of feel good warmth and infantile antics found in the best Farrelly brothers’ flicks like ‘Dumb And Dumber’, ‘There’s Something About Mary’ and ‘Stuck On You’, you might be better off watching these entertainers in the comfort of your home.

And if you still need the ‘The Three Stooges’, you would be better off convulsing in chortles while shuffling through countless gags in cyberland.

‘The Three Stooges’ opens in theatres 26 July 2012