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Tuesday, April 17, 2012 3:53 p.m.

What We’re Watching

by admin

Hatchet staff writer Karolina Ramos shares her latest movie experience.

The Three Stooges” (2012)

"The Three Stooges." Photo used under the Creative Commons License

What should be a tribute to a hilarious legacy proves a travesty.

Directed by the Farrelly brothers (“Dumb & Dumber,” and “There’s Something About Mary”), this attempted homage to the original “The Three Stooges” tells the story of three mindless nuisances, the kindhearted Larry (Sean Hayes), the idiotic Curly (Will Sasso) and the temperamental ringleader Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos).

The story begins at a Catholic orphanage, where the trio passes time by roughing each other up and tormenting the orphanage’s nuns, especially Sister Mary-Mengele – an astoundingly unfunny Larry David in drag – and the Mother Superior (Jane Lynch). Fast forward a few decades – the boys are still dimwitted, still mischievous and still living at the orphanage, after a series of potential adoptions fall through. But greater problems emerge for the Stooges and the place they call home when the orphanage faces potential foreclosure. Determined to repay the orphanage’s debt, Larry, Curly and Moe set out to the big city in search of work.

It’s not long before the crew’s good intentions land them in some sticky situations. The gang’s quest for work and money ultimately finds them involved in a convoluted murder plot, schemed by devious vixen Lydia (Sofia Vergara). With the orphanage at stake, the Stooges must make hefty choices and test their friendship against a longing for fame and fortune.

The way the iconic characters are dropped in modern times proves to be the film’s biggest challenge and disappointment. The original Three Stooges, Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine, emerged in the 1930s – the quintessential era for the vaudeville style they championed. But placed in the present, where mentions of Twitter, Facebook and the “Jersey Shore” cast are frequent, the revived trio’s goofy Brooklyn accents and outrageous hairstyles are awkwardly out of place.

The slapstick humor takes a turn for the juvenile, becoming so repetitious that every scene includes the much-expected face slaps and eye pokes. The film harkens back to the original series through the inclusion of signature sound effects with every jab, slap and punches. Unfortunately, these exaggerated noises come across as cheesy in the modern version – diluting the film’s humor and also furthering dissonance between the pairing of a modern setting and an old-fashioned style of comedy.

Praise must be given though to Sasso, Hayes and Diamantopoulos, who deliver spot-on impressions of the original Stooges lineup. Still, this attempt to recreate the beloved antics of three men who forever changed the course of comedy fails miserably.

Genre: Comedy
Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Cast: Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara
Release Date: April 13