The Three Stooges

I now realize there’s something worse than a remake.

A reproduction.

Larry, Curly and Moe are left on the door of an orphanage as babies. Together they grow up to be morons with a penchant for causing accidents who are abusive to each other, but kind-hearted to others. When the orphanage runs out of money, they hit the road (and each other) in an effort to raise $830,000 and save the day. Along the way, they get hired to do a contract killing, have a shootout by holding peeing babies, and Moe joins the cast of “Jersey Shore”.

It’s as abhorrent as it sounds.

Aside from the thin plot, the objectionable crossover, and the abject lack of comedy from anything aside from mimicking the patented Stooge slapfest routine, this movie proves a point. The Stooges were a charismatic trio of stars, they possessed the indefinable quality that lights up the screen. Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos may have the look, the voices, and have mastered the routines, but there’s still something missing. That nebulous “It”.

You can’t just take an original and reproduce it. I never got the sense watching this movie that I was watching the Three Stooges. What I mean is that I never was able to lose myself in what they were doing for what it was, and forget the fact that it was a carbon copy. Their imitations were good, but I never lost the feeling that I was watching impersonators, and accepted them for what they were doing themselves. There was always that added distance for me. I wasn’t watching three guys poke, slap and hit each other, I was watching three guys perform a routine, emulating three guys who poked, slapped and hit each other. It never rose above the level of knock-off.

The movie had absolutely nothing original to offer of its own. If it weren’t for mimicking the Stooges patented fights, it would have zero value. The storyline of the Stooges as orphaned babies who subsequently grow up and need to save their orphanage seems as though it’s been used a million times. All of the new things they had the stooges do seemed like borderline sacrilege. Accepting a murder for hire gig? Having baby piss fights? Joining “Jersey Shore”? Come on. I mean, maybe they did some of those things before, I don’t know. But it definitely felt wrong watching them now.

The movie is full of cameos but none of them add anything particularly interesting. They even left Kate Upton’s promised pool emergence on the cutting room floor… Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Larry David plays a crotchety nun, which is funny for a couple of seconds, but more in a “Hey that’s Larry David” type of way than anything else. Jane Lynch is the head nun, but she’s not given anything funny to do. Almost the entire cast of Jersey Shore is involved (Apparently Pauly D and Vinny had more sense) and given what amount to be minor roles, it’s not just some quick cameo. That in and of itself is going to be an annoyance to some people.

If you have no attachment to the original trio, yet are somehow drawn to this movie anyways, you might find it funny. Kids might too. But those of us who are familiar with Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine’s legendary comedic talents will find this a pale and unsatisfying imitation, and perhaps, like I did, an affront.

D

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34 thoughts on “The Three Stooges

  1. Could this movie actually tarnish that classical physical comedy? I saw a clip last night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and thought that the scene (with the donuts and the bell) was choppy and so staged. I just remember the Stooges shows being so fluid and smooth. It was almost like they would say or do something funny and wait for the laughter to die down or say look what we did right there. I didn’t find the clip funny. I won’t be seeing this movie by the way.

    • Cant recommend that you do… LOL

      Could it tarnish the legacy? I doubt it. Not in this case. The Stooges are far too imbedded in the pop culture consciousness…

      Although it’s been over-performing expectations so far this weekend at the box-office, so, unfortunately that opens the door to a potential sequel.

  2. Wow, it’s hard to believe that this movie is over-performing expectations at the box office. I should never underestimate the audience’s interest in the Stooges, I guess. The Jersey Shore device sounds like pretty much the most painful thing in existence too.

  3. Sorry you didn’t like it but I disagree 100% with everything you say. I adored it and can’t wait till it comes out on video. I am a big stooge fan and have all their short and a number of their movies. The 3 in the 2012 version certainly had “IT” even though you couldn’t see it. I’m giving it a “10” not for quality but because that’s how much I loved it.

      • Well, rock on. Happy you enjoyed it. Always happier when people like a movie – even if its one I didnt.

        I saw it as a fan and a reviewer. Certainly I dont own everything they ever did, but I’ve watched my share of shorts in my time, and… this didnt cut it for me.

        Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. “Accepting a murder for hire gig? Having baby piss fights? Joining “Jersey Shore”? Come on. I mean, maybe they did some of those things before, I don’t know. ”
    Actually, I’m pretty sure that there was a famous classic episode where the original Stooges did in fact join Jersey Shore.

  5. I’m not a fan of the Stooges, but this movie looks like it would alternately make me laugh and then groan. Will definitely be a rental/download watch for me.

    • Bubba? If youre not a fan of the original Stooges? Then this movie has NOTHING for you. LOL I dont think it stands a chance in hell of changing someone’s mind if they werent already sold on that comedy style…

      • Sorry, I meant to say that I’m not a “big fan” of the Stooges, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of their routines, but I do find some of their slapstick funny. Both the trailers for this Stooges have made me laugh a couple times. I imagine that the slapstick would get a laugh out of me, while the plot would get the groans.

  6. The trailer was so unfunny it was physically painful. I’m actually quite surprised that it has a relatively decent 42% Rotten Tomatoes score ahah. In any case, I will probably stay clear of this unless it’s showing on TV while I’m passed out half-drunk on a friend’s couch ;)

    • LOL. Cap? The trailer is a gooood representation of what you’d be getting with the full movie, except with 90% less Kate Upton.

      Meanwhile, even drunk and half passed out it might be advisable to stay away from. Might give you the room spins. :)

  7. There’s no way I’m ever seeing this. I’m not even the biggest Stooge fan (Despite yet another familial relationship, which I wont bore you with), I always preferred the Marz brothers who depended much more on smart and funny dialog than sheer slapstick, but I certainly have enjoyed my share of the Stooges. From the very first trailer this movie looked bad, and the concept (or conceit, to be more precise) has been an offense against the memory of some fine vaudvillians.

    I’m curious as to how this didn’t earn an “F” grade from you?

  8. I didn’t really think it was terrible as I thought it was going to be in the first place because surprisingly, it did have me laugh. However, those laughs came in way too far apart from each other and the film as a whole, ends up being a little too stretched out. Would have del Toro, Penn, and Carrey made this any better? Who knows?!? Good review Fogs.

    • You know? I think those big names WOULD have made it better. Because then I’d have felt more like I was watching actors playing roles… Which even if that’s the case here, too, here I felt like I was just watching celebrity impersonators.

  9. A D?! That’s a lot higher than I was expecting from you….

    Anyway, it may be unfair for me to weigh in on it — I said from the trailer that it was in my “no chance in hell” pile, and I meant it — but the only surprise here is that it seems to not be getting completely raked over the coals in the box office and critical reception. Which, honestly, has me feeling a bit disappointed in the public, because the very idea here is sacrilege.

    I mean… I just removed “The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze” from my Hulu queue because I had a second thought, checked, and it turned out to be one with Joe DeRita. He does OK as a rule, certainly better than I expect anybody nowadays to do… but when I turn on The Three Stooges, I don’t really want to see Curly Joe DeRita or Little Joe Besser. I want to see Curly Howard or Shemp Howard. Either one, really. They had their own styles, and the Joes were just imitating Curly, and suffered for the comparison. And they at least had the actual Moe and Larry to play off of… some other Curly imitator playing off against imitators of the other two? Pfft. Give me a break.

    • I’m always reluctant to give a movie a total F for some reason. There were a few chuckles here and there that kept the movie from being completely worthless. And I could see someone turning this on one weekend for free after hearing nothing but bad things about it for months and months and then watching it and saying, huh. That wasn’t THAT bad.

      So…

      Meanwhile, yeah, sounds like you have no chance buddy.

  10. How embarrassing! Really, The Jersey f’ing Shore, come on (GOB voice)! The “D” grade sound appropriate. It’s hard to follow up the original great Three Stooges, but considering all the money Hollywood has, I expected better quality. Maybe something can’t be duplicated/reproduced/redone.

    • Oh yeah. Jersey Shore. And they all have lines, too. Moe is on it for a good ten minutes (Although in fairness, theyre cutting back and forth to other scenes, its not a straight ten minutes of Jersey Shore). But yeah, not just some lil cameo, more like small roles.

    • Spoiler I guess, a little?

      At the end of the movie, the pre-credits sequence is them doing a little PSA about not hitting each other with hammers and not poking each other in the eye.

      Made me feel sad for the world that we have to do that I guess.

      But its also another sign of how far theyve fallen. They’re now doing movies where they have to actually tell their audience not to hit each other in the head with a hammer.

      • Wielding my geek card proudly… in one episode of the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series, Ram-Man gives the day’s moral lesson: and it’s that it’s really dumb to use your head as a battering ram the way he does.

        So not only are they doing movies where they have to includea “don’t do this” PSA, it’s arguably not even an original PSA. :D

    • Yeah, I’ve been questioning that myself, as to whether I should have gone the full F route.

      For whatever reason, I have more trouble pulling the trigger on the F than on an A++

  11. I was upset when I discovered what this movie is. I feel like people have been talking about a Three Stooges film for years, but I was always under the impression it was more of a bio kind of film more like Chaplin than what they finally made. A biopic kind of thing I can at least get behind making. Just doing a revamp of the Stooges for a feature makes little sense.

    It’s been a while since I watched the Stooges, but I used to watch them all the time. They’d run every weekend and my friends dad had a huge collection. Anyway, I don’t remember their bits as being something easily stretched to a feature. They worked as extraordinarily well as shorts. I feel like there was a reason they only made one film.

    • For what it’s worth, there was a made-for-TV biopic back in 2000. I haven’t checked it out, but I think it’s available for viewing on Crackle if you’re interested.

      • Did you listen to our podcast or something? Its not even up yet!

        I swear, Tanski said the exact same thing, right down to referring people to crackle!

        SCARY….

      • OK, that is kind of funny. But no… this was just a case of me half-remembering something I saw, and doing a bit of legwork to help someone out.

        Apparently Michael Chiklis played Curly. I can kind of see that.

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