Review: 'Three Stooges' one long poke in the eye

  • Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs

    Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs

    Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs

    The Thursday before Orthodox Easter, or Holy Thursday, the Bachkovo Monastery made their traditional preparations by dying about 5,000 Easter eggs in various colors at the monastery's kitchen. (April 17) …

  • U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military

    U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military

    U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. will send medical supplies, helmets and other nonlethal aid to the Ukrainian military in response to Russia's 'destabilizing activities.' (April 17) …

  • Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine

    Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine

    Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine

    Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Geneva that top diplomats from the U.S., European Union, Russia and Ukraine have reached a tentative deal aimed at de-escalating tensions in Ukraine. (April 17) …

A little nyuk-nyuk-nyuk goes a long way in "The Three Stooges," Peter and Bobby Farrelly's feature-length homage to the classic slapstick comedy trio.

The Farrelly brothers have wanted to make this movie for years, and for the most part they didn't try to inflict their signature gross-out sensibility upon known and revered source material. Yes, there is a scene in which Moe, Larry and Curly get into a urine fight by pointing naked newborns at each other in a maternity ward. And Curly does pass some major gas, but it's actually relevant from a plot perspective.

As directors and writers (with screenplay help from their boyhood friend Mike Cerrone), the Farrellys have shown surprising restraint. Their "Three Stooges" is sweeter than you might expect, and it's certainly more tolerable than their last movie, the crass "Hall Pass" from last year.

But it's hard to imagine who the film is for today beyond hardcore fans of the original shorts and 10-year-old boys who double over giggling at the sight of grown men doubling over in pain. Despite its brisk pace and brief running time and even with its episodic structure — the film is broken up into three individual episodes with a through line that unites them — "The Three Stooges" grows very old, very quickly.

There are a few cute ideas, though, and some clever casting choices. Every once in a while a pun is good for a chuckle. But the head-bonking and the eye-poking, the face-slapping and the finger-snapping and the constant clang of sound effects are too much to bear over an extended period of time. If anything, the Farrellys' "Three Stooges" might make you want to go back and revisit the original threesome — in short doses — for a reminder of how influential their brand of comedy has become.

These adventures take place in the present day, though, as Larry ("Will & Grace" star Sean Hayes in a wild wig), Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos of "24" and "The Kennedys") and Curly (Will Sasso of "MADtv") are still living at the orphanage where they were dumped as infants, despite the fact that they're now grown men in their mid-30s. That is one amusing gag: As time passes, different actors play the threesome at various ages, but the nuns who raised them stay exactly the same. And these three actors are doing nearly dead-on impressions of Larry Fine and Moe and Curly Howard, rather than going in a knowing, post-modern direction with the characters.

Jane Lynch, in a departure from her famous snark, plays the kindly Mother Superior; Larry David is a sight to behold as her sidekick, the cranky Sister Mary-Mengele (she's essentially Larry David in a nun's habit). One day they inform the Stooges and the other orphans that their home will be shut down if they can't come up with $830,000 in the next month.

And so our intrepid (and naive) trio ventures out into the big, wide world, a place they've never seen before, to try and raise the money. Fish-out-of-water antics, some hurt feelings and massive bodily injuries ensue. (The Farrellys did this better back in 1996 with Randy Quaid as an innocent, Amish bowling prodigy who goes on a cross-country tour in "Kingpin.")

They get mixed up with a femme fatale (Sofia Vergara) who hires them to kill her rich husband so that she can run away with her lover; naturally, this does not go nearly as planned. (On a side note: It would be nice to see Vergara play a character besides a saucy temptress once in a while.)

Attempts at contemporizing the Stooges are hit-and-miss — the reality show they stumble onto is just cringe-inducingly awkward — but they're "soitenly" never mean. And that's sayin' somethin'.

"The Three Stooges," a 20th Century Fox release, is rated PG for slapstick action violence and some rude and suggestive humor including language. Running time: 91 minutes. Two stars out of four.


Motion Picture Association of America rating definitions:

G — General audiences. All ages admitted.

PG — Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

PG-13 — Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children under 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

R — Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

NC-17 — No one under 17 admitted.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily entertainment updates.

  • Ketahui kesalahan ketika bersolek
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Ketahui kesalahan ketika bersolek 14 hours ago
    Ketahui kesalahan ketika bersolek

    Di sini kami ingin berkongsi dengan anda tentang beberapa kesalahan ketika anda bersolek. …

  • Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit Wed, Apr 16, 2014 11:08 AM MYT
    Makanan yang boleh kawal penyakit

    Di sini kami ingin berkongsi informasi mengenai beberapa jenis makanan yang baik untuk tubuh badan anda. …

  • Rawatan bawah mata dan kedutan!
    Hana Ahmad - Tupai
    Rawatan bawah mata dan kedutan! Wed, Apr 16, 2014 11:08 AM MYT
    Rawatan bawah mata dan kedutan!

    Masalah lingkaran hitam bawah mata serta kedutan boleh diatasi dengan mengamalkan tips-tips mudah berikut. …

  • 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer accused of drugging, raping teen
    'X-Men' director Bryan Singer accused of drugging, raping teen

    By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A director of the popular "X-Men" films, Bryan Singer, has been accused of drugging and raping a teenage boy in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. court. The lawsuit filed on Wednesday, just weeks before the release of Singer's upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past," alleges the 48-year-old used his influence as a Hollywood insider as well as a range of drugs and alcohol to force anal and oral sex on the boy. …

  • Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan?
    Yahoo Newsroom
    Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan? Thu, Sep 19, 2013 1:54 PM MYT
    Dapatkah Pelat Dipulihkan?

    Pelat bukanlah disebabkan oleh lidah yang pendek. Apakah punca pelat? …

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.