The Rube’s Review: The Three Stooges (2012)
The Three Stooges movie… man, this going to be a tough one to review. The reason? There’s a lot of things that I LOVE about this movie, some parts I laughed so much I was blue in the face, but then there’s some parts that make you question, “what the hell were they thinking?”
The first thing that I really liked about the film is that it opens with the classic title screen and familiar opening music. For a Stooge fan, this was a real treat. It gave me a warm feeling in my heart to see that that classic opening but I also like the idea that you’re watching 3 episodes and not a movie. The story begins with the three brothers in their younger years at Sister of Mercy Orphanage. After some classic high jinks and a failed attempt by Moe to get him and his brothers adopted, the story fast-forwards 20 years.
Now all grown up, the brothers are the orphanages’ handymen. After some gut-busting hilarity while trying to fix the Orphanage’s church bell, the boys are told that the church needs to come up with $380,000 or the bank is going to foreclose on the home for unwanted youths. Not wanting to let the nuns or their fellow orphans down, the Stooges head out to the big city to find their fame and fortune so they can save their childhood home… then it just gets weird, even for a Three Stooges movie.
The second episode/act has to deal with a murder plot where the Stooges are hired by an evil wife (and her lover) to kill her wealthy husband… WHAT THE HELL?! That’s like having a Care Bears movie where Love-a-Lot Bear plans to assassinate Fidel Castro. Even though this sets up a lot of funny slapstick, from the lover getting hit by a bus, hit with an arrow, and sent to the hospital (where the boys dress up in hospital disguises and have a squirt gun fight with peeing newborns), it’s just doesn’t feel right having the Stooges getting hired to kill someone. Who at Columbia Pictures thought this was a good idea? I can imagine a board meeting with the writers and after a sample reading, a Studio head says, “You know this is a great idea but you know what’s missing? A good old fashioned homicide!”
The third act also involves another WTF moment with Moe leaving his bothers and ending up being the newest member of The Jersey Shore… really. After Larry and Curly find Moe’s whereabouts and that their old childhood friend Teddy is the rich husband to be bumped off, they crash a party, make with some funny business, and save the day.
After watching this hilarious train-wreck of a movie, I was left in confusion. There were a lot of things that I loved about this movie, but with an equal amount of WTF moments I just don’t know what to think. Maybe it’s just easier to break down this review into things that worked for me and things that didn’t.
THINGS I LOVED:
I think the casting is spot on, especially the young and adult actors playing the Stooges. Will Sasso’s role as Curly is amazing and Larry David as mega-grouchy Sister Mary-Megele kept me laughing. The whole movie kept me in stitches with all of the puns, brotherly arguments/slapstick and sound effects… and the HONK! when Sofia Vergara gets her boob stepped on (while helping her lover climb over a zoo wall) I almost fell off the couch laughing.
As for my favorite parts I would have to go with the kid Stooges at the dentist, Nurse Curly getting hit on, the baby pee fight, when Moe asks for dynamite, everything at the hospital/party and how they get out of the submerged car. All of those scenes reeked of the old time Three Stooges comedy that I’ve grown up with and will never forget.
THINGS I NEEDED A SCREAMING PILLOW FOR:
Even though I liked the kid stooges, there was too much of it in the first act/episode. Chances are you already know who Moe, Larry, and Curly are so why take all the time (almost 30 minutes) to give them a back story at the orphanage? This brings up something that bugged me, but I didn’t know why until now… the movie’s main plot (Stooges saving the orphanage) is the same plot used for the 1987 video game (Amiga/Nintendo Entertainment System). Really, it took 3 writers to base this movie off a 25-year old video game, which in turn is the plot for 1980’s hit, The Blues Brothers? Really?
Another thing that hurts this movie was including the cast of The Jersey Shore. I understand that this was a studio’s ploy to entice younger viewers but this cheap gimmick makes the film feel dated, which is sad since they finished up filming in 2011. Oh, and there was a party scene without a pie fight? WTF?!
With all of the classic things that you could have gone with to save the orphanage, why pick murder for hire? They should have gone for the thing that most Stooge fans that would have gone crazy for… Curly boxing like a madman while Larry plays Pop Goes the Weasel on his violin! I’ll even up the ante and rewrite the whole movie…
THE RUBE RE-WRITES THE THREE STOOGES MOVIE
keep the whole first episode/act but have little Larry practice his violin, the only thing that they found with the boys when they were dropped on the doorstep of the orphanage. Then make Pop Goes the Weasel the only song that Larry knows so he has to play it all the time for violin practice, which drives Curly crazy. Later, when they go to the big city to raise the $380K, Larry plays his violin on the corner for spare change.
Curly goes nuts and Moe beats his brothers and tells them to find a real job. As he pulls out a discarded want ads/newspaper from a trashbin, Moe sees an ad for amateur boxing/UFC. They go, Larry plays, and Curly goes nuts and wins. Montage of Curly winning fight after fight with a Nicky Minaj version of Pop Goes The Weasel playing in the background. Then it’s to the last fight and in the final round the violin strings break and Curly loses the match. They go back to the Orphanage empty handed but the boys find out that Larry’s violin is actually a rare Stradivarius. They sell it and save the orphanage.
Toss in a skeezy fight promoter that knows the value of Larry’s family heirloom and tries to steal it and *BAM* I just made a Three Stooges movie that’s 100 times better! THE END!
I really wanted to like this movie, but overall it just made me wish for more classic Three Stooges yuck-yucks than unneeded plot points which makes the funny come to a screeching halt. Even with all of its bad points, though, there’s still tons of sidesplitting wackiness that will make any Stooges fan burst with laughter. The Rube would recommended at least renting it out on DVD or when it hits cable TV in a month or two.