Movie review: 'Three Stooges' ride again
Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck ... you wouldn’t believe it, but Moe, Larry and Curly are still full of laughs. And even though directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly skew more toward gross-out humor (semen hair gel, anyone?) – all ages will chuckle in their long-awaited big-screen homage to the iconic – and moronic – trio in “The Three Stooges: The Movie.” Can I get a “woo-woo-woo”?
In what’s essentially an origin story, the film captures the bumbling Stooges as they were in their 1930s heyday, only in a contemporary, PG-rated setting that allows Curly Moe and Larry to get involved in a peeing match with a passel of newborns and Curly to break wind at a critical moment. Also, supermodel Kate Upton is onboard as a bikini-clad nun accessorized with a well-placed crucifix.
Those obvious Farrelly touches aside, there are lots of typical Stooges slapstick and pratfalls on hand, such as eye poking, noggin’ banging, mallets to the head, etc. There are some inspired sight gags, too. So make sure to read any background signage, especially in the lawyer’s office.
The star power might not have the same luster as the film’s original cast of Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro, but Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) as Larry, Will Sasso (“MADtv”) as Curly and Broadway veteran Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe “soitenly” work well together. They also don’t try to reinvent their characters, relying more on dead-on impersonations.
Penned by the Farrellys and their frequent writing partner and fellow Rhode Islander, Mike Cerrone, the script has the Stooges trying to save the orphanage where they were raised by nuns. Besides Upton, these divine sisters are played by Jane Lynch (“Glee”), Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”), Marianne Leone (“The Sopranos”) and comedian Larry David (in drag).
The Stooges also find themselves involved in a murder-for-hire plot with “Modern Family’s” Sofia Vergara, Craig Bierko (“Boston Legal”) and Kirby Heyborne. And Moe later ends up spray-tanned and on a reality TV show with the cast from “Jersey Shore.” In true Farrelly brothers style, the Stooges are knuckleheads with hearts of gold. Despite the cartoonish violence, the wacky story is infused with family values and the sweetness of brotherly love and loyalty.
Stick around for the “don’t-try-this-at-home” disclaimer after the credits roll, especially if you bring along impressionable kids.
Dana Barbuto may be reached at email@example.com.
THE THREE STOOGES: THE MOVIE
(PG for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language.) Cast includes Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos. 3 stars out of 4.