'The Three Stooges': Farrellys' take deserves a poke in the eye
A movie review of "The Three Stooges," an unfunny take by the Farrelly Brothers starring little-known actors Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso as Moe, Larry and Curly, respectively.
Special to The Seattle Times
'The Three Stooges,' with Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Jane Lynch. Directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly, from a screenplay by the Farrellys and Mike Cerrone. 92 minutes. Rated PG for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language. Several theaters.
MOVIE REVIEW STAR
Reading the Interwebs, one is reminded that once upon a time (it was 2009) Sean Penn, Jim Carrey and Benicio Del Toro were being pursued by the brothers Farrelly to play the Three Stooges. For various reasons, Penn (who was in line for the Larry role), Carrey (Curly) and Del Toro (Moe) all apparently thought the better of it.
But Bobby and Peter Farrelly wouldn't let the notion, which they'd nurtured for more than a decade, go.
They persisted, and now the product of their persistence is out there for all to see. With — drum roll, please — Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso.
High-wattage stars these are not. To their credit, they bear a reasonably close resemblance to the originals: Diamantopoulos, with his bowl haircut and surly attitude as Moe; Hayes, made up with Larry's balding pate and fright-wig side-extensions; and Sasso, with flood pants exposing white socks — all madly whoop, whoop, whooping across the screen.
But they're mere imitations. There's nothing beneath the surface similarities and programmed franticness. Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Jerome "Curly" Howard, the best-known combination of the Stooges' various amalgamations, somehow made their schtick seem fresh and vital. The antics of this new trio seem stale and lifeless.
We've seen it all before. Who wants to see it again? Beyond the Farrellys, that is? Once, these guys were funny. But they peaked with "There's Something About Mary." And that was in 1998. It's been downhill for them ever since. ("Shallow Hal," anyone?)
Their "Stooges" starts with the lads as babes hurled in a bag from a speeding car onto the doorstep of an orphanage. A nun, played by Larry David (don't ask), opens the bag and earns a poke in the eye.
Endless pokes, bops, klonks and clouts later, they're groan — sorry, grown — men trying desperately in their dimwitted way to raise $830,000 to save the orphanage from closure. In the process, they're lured into a lame plot to bump off the dweeby husband of a sultry vixen. Later still, Moe winds up on "Jersey Shore," mercilessly whapping and slapping the show's beefy lunks and jabbing Snooki in the eyes.
Are we laughing yet? No? Well, take a gander at this scene where the boys use infants in a nursery as, ah, pee projectors, giving one another urine facials.
Thus is a classic act updated for the 21st century. With body fluids galore.
The "Stooges" screening I attended was one of the most peculiar I've ever sat through. Up on the screen: high-decibel cacophony. Out in the audience, save for a rare, strangled chuckle: silence. The silence of the tomb.
Soren Andersen: firstname.lastname@example.org