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Dumb and Dumber To: Dumb, or a stroke of genius?

Jeff Daniels, Jim Carrey and the Farrelly Brothers reunite after 20 years for the sequel to Dumb and Dumber.
Jim Carrey, left, and Jeff Daniels in a scene from Dumb and Dumber To. Hopper Stone / courtesy Universal Pictures / AP Photo
Jim Carrey, left, and Jeff Daniels in a scene from Dumb and Dumber To. Hopper Stone / courtesy Universal Pictures / AP Photo

Jeff Daniels may be known these days for his no-nonsense character on the television show The Newsroom, but he’s also up for making fun, silly films.

Twenty years of dumb come to fruition this week with the premiere of the long-awaited sequel, Dumb And Dumber To. At the recent premiere in Los Angeles, Jim Carrey and Daniels took to the red carpet in Tom Ford suits, arriving in the famous dogmobile from the original film.

For Daniels, sitting with friends and family at the after-party, finally making the sequel to the 1994 original was a worthwhile experience as both an actor and a moviegoer. “To see the two guys together again, the characters are still alive and well and creating havoc everywhere, it’s fun to see,” Daniels says. “You don’t get that opportunity [because] usually when they do a sequel it’s right away, but 20 years later, I was real pleased with how much of it worked and how great the chemistry was with Jim.”

The film went through a long development process and, at one point, Carrey even backed out temporarily, but the directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly remained determined. Peter said the film lived up to his ­expectations.

“It’s very satisfying,” he says. “It was a hard one to do and there were a lot of bumps in the road, but it turned out exactly how we hoped it would.” He said he knew he needed a great script to make the movie work, but once he had that he knew he could rely on his two leading actors, who know the characters so well and have a proven chemistry for comedic mayhem on screen, to knock it out of the park.

“It’s all Jim and Jeff, give them a great script and they’re going to nail it,” Farrelly says. “It’s sort of like flying a jet from LA to Tokyo, you just put it on autopilot and let it go.”

Stepping back into the shoes of his character Harry Dunne 20 years later wasn’t as hard as one might imagine, says Daniels, thanks to a comic master of a co-star. “When you’ve got Jim Carrey leading the way, first of all you’re in trouble, but you get to be on kind of a half-second delay when he grabs you and pulls you,” Daniels says.

“That’s kind of what it’s like to be in a movie with him because he’s such an instigator comedically. And that’s what you want, you want Jim to be Jim.”

New co-stars in the sequel include Rob Riggle and Kathleen Turner, who said she remembered the first film being funny, but was attracted to the sequel for a simple reason. “They sent me a script and it made me laugh,” Turner says. “It’s funnier on the screen.”

Riggle, who says he’s been quoting the first film for the past 20 years, was just happy the script existed. “They called and said: ‘Hey, they want you to be this guy,’” he says. “And I said: ‘Great, I’m in.’ And they said: ‘We’ll send you the script.’ And I go: ‘Send if it you want, but I’m in.’”

Audiences should expect to stay in their seats after the film ends for post-credits gags about future sequels. And fans shouldn’t get discouraged about future follow-ups, as Farrelly says there’s a chance.

“Depending how this does, I could see doing another,” Farrelly says. “I just really enjoy this movie and working with those guys. Yeah, I could see doing it again.” He’s not the only one on board.

“I love the Farrellys, I love Jim,” Daniels says. “There’s great value in making people laugh 20 years ago and, I hope, now. And [if] you get to do it again, you get to do it again.”

Updated: November 12, 2014 04:00 AM

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