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Movie Review: The Three Stooges

April 13, 2012

The Three Stooges – A 20th Century Fox Release

http://www.threestooges.com/#/home

Release Date: April 13th, 2012

Rated PG for comic violence and some crude humour

Running time: 92 minutes

Bobby Farrelly (dir.)

Peter Farrelly (dir.)

Mike Cerrone (screenplay)

Bobby Farrelly (screenplay)

Peter Farrelly (screenplay)

John Debney (music)

Sean Hayes as Larry

Will Sasso as Curly

Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe

Jane Lynch as Mother Superior

Sofía Vergara as Lydia

Jennifer Hudson as Sister Rosemary

Larry David as Sister Mary-Mengele

Kirby Heyborne as Teddy

Brian Doyle-Murray as Monsignor Ratliffe

Skyler Gisondo as Young Moe

Lance Chantiles-Wertz as Young Larry

Robert Capron as Young Curly

©20th Century Fox.  All Rights Reserved.

Curly (Will Sasso), Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) and Larry (Sean Hayes) in The Three Stooges.

Our reviews below:

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The Three Stooges Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

A passion project for the comedic directing team of Peter and Bobby Farelly, The Three Stooges is finally hitting theatres after failed plans for a revival film have been circulating for years.  The family comedy is somewhat disappointing in the way that it takes place in the modern world of pop culture, but is also better than expected simply because the three lead actors are so good in their iconic roles.  Every face slap, eye poke and “nyuk nyuk nyuk” is in place as they faithfully bring these characters to a new generation of kids.

The 92 minute film is broken up into three shorts, the first one starting at the orphanage where the Stooges were dumped on the porch as eye-poking babies.  As kids, the three little troublemakers (nicely played by Skyler Gisondo, Lance Chantiles-Wertz and Robert Capron) proved a handful for the kind Mother Superior (Jane Lynch), the always singing Sister Rosemary (Jennifer Hudson) and the always grumpy Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David).  As adults, the scraggly haired Larry (Sean Hayes), the chubby Curly (Will Sasso) and the trying to be serious Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) find themselves innocently oblivious to the fact that they don’t really fit into the regular world as they try to make enough money to save the failing orphanage.

They end up involved in a bizarre and not particularly funny murder plot involving their childhood friend Teddy (Kirby Heyborne) and his loudmouthed wife Lydia (Sofia Vergara), as well as having accidental encounters with some reality TV show producers. The Jersey Shore actors that all make cameos are talentless, annoying and do deserve a good beating from Moe, but they are also easy targets and don’t really deserve to be in this or any other movie.  A hospital sequence that includes a fight that the Stooges get into with the seemingly endless stream of urine from a bunch of babies is just painful to watch and strictly to amuse the kids in the audience.

But The Three Stooges is at its best when sticking to the perfectly timed physical humour between the three leads, and deserves a mild recommendation for the believable and faithful performances of Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos.  Although some of the script is more for kids and not really up to the level of the classic short films, the three lead actors and their young counterparts are undeniably good and through them the legacy of these iconic knuckleheads is able to safely live on.

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The Three Stooges Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

I’m sure many of us remember the classic Three Stooges sketches with their brilliantly stupid timing and schtick.  So when I first saw the trailer for this new film adaptation, the one thing I knew is that this would be a hard one to get right.  The first place they needed to start was the casting, and I must say, the three leads playing the Stooges have the timing down pat and it is because of them that the film works as well as it does.  Unfortunately, the other half of the equation – the script – is not all that it could have been.

First off, I must mention that the film is told in three 25-30 minute shorts that are sequential, and that technique I found worked very well.  The story is simple – in the first short, we set up that the three are at an orphanage as kids (the three kids cast as the young Stooges also do a remarkable job).  Because of their antics they are having a hard time getting adopted – it is in this first section, that we meet many characters that will be important later on.  By the second part, the three are grown up (25 years later) and the orphanage is in danger of closing, so the three set out on their own to try to raise the $830,000 needed to save the place.  As the film progresses, we follow them in the real world, trying to get jobs, and basically just running around town trying their best but creating a lot of havoc in their wake.  The film is genuinely funny at times, but the script merely hits its generic story beats without becoming anything unique or special.  Even the ‘twists’ just feel kind of mundane in their presentation.

One thing that threw me is why they felt it necessary to make the film take place nowadays – this could have been far better by doing a Three Stooges film with these three good actors, that took place around the time of the original show.  There were also certain characters that got on my nerves (like Sofía Vergara’s character Lydia).  Still, this film will be quite enjoyed by the younger (8-12) members of the audience, with its short running length (90 mins.), and ample slapstick humour.

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The Three Stooges Review by Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Most people, including myself, remember The Three Stooges – Curly, Larry and Moe.  Their silly actions and sound effects were always pitch perfect with comedic timing.  In this movie, Will Sasso (Curly), Sean Hayes (Larry) and Chris Diamontopoulos (Moe) have the same perfect timing, exactly recreating the wonderful silliness of Curly Howard, Larry Fine and Moe Howard.

Divided into “episodes,” the three begin their lives at a Catholic orphanage run by nuns and the children who play the Stooges (Skyler Gisondo, Lance Chantiles-Wertz and Robert Capron) are amazing.  But 25 years later, the orphanage is in danger of closing.  Having never been adopted, the Stooges hatch a plan to save the orphanage by fundraising.  This leads them to a fine mess, but will it save the day?

The Three Stooges is fine for kids.  The disclaimer at the end will make parents breathe easy and the film really is no worse than the original show in terms of content.  However, the plot line and side characters are somewhat stupid, really only appealing to the very young.  I would have also preferred to have seen the film take place in the past, as opposed to modern day.  What I would really like to see is a biopic about the real Stooges, played by the trio here.

Bring kids to see The Three Stooges.  They will enjoy it and hopefully the film will introduce them to the original show.

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The Three Stooges Review by Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Eye poking, face slapping and head bopping, it’s all there in this Farrelly Brothers remake of The Three Stooges.  The boys are back and they are as dumb as ever.  And I mean that in the nicest way.  The actors playing Curly (Will Sasso), Larry (Sean Hayes) and Moe (Chris Diamontopoulos) all have the look and comedic timing of the originals down pat.  Every one one of the original Three Stooges signature moves are faithfully reenacted and I can hear a new generation of parents saying “stop doing that to your brother or sister.”

While the nostalgia factor of seeing these loveable idiots playing on the big screen is fun at first, the movie itself doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of story or supporting characters.  The story is loosely told in three episodes starting when the boys first arrive at an orphanage run by Catholic nuns.  The young actors who play Curly (Robert Capron), Larry (Lance Chantiles-Wertz) and Moe (Skyler Gisondo) as kids do an excellent job with the Stooges shtik.

It’s when the Stooges are all grown up and they get involved in a hit-for-hire scheme to raise money for the bankrupt orphanage that the whole thing goes on a little too long.  The odd mix of characters from the popular Jersey Shore reality TV show, an eclectic group of nuns – Mother Superior (Jane Lynch), Sister Mary-Mengale (Larry David), the singing Sister Rosemary (Jennifer Hudson) – and Sofia Vergara as a rich and scheming widow wannabe, make for a very uneven comedy.

While nothing can compare to the original Three Stooges shorts, this movie is entertaining enough for older Curly, Larry and Moe fans, and mindless fun for a whole new generation of kids who will want to slap each other silly.  In a sign of our times, there is a “don’t try this at home” pre-credits segment warning kids not to behave like Stooges.  As if.

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The Three Stooges Review by Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

The Three Stooges, starting out in the 1920s as tümlerim (flash sketch comics entertaining Yiddish-speaking guests at Catskills resorts), produced dozens of B/W shorts for movie theatres, mainly in the 1930s and 1940s. Their classic routines included frequent insults and assaults (slaps, eye pokes, etc.) all accompanied by silly foley (sound effects) and executed with perfect comic timing. Their style is at once dated and timeless, polarizing audiences mainly along gender lines between those who appreciate their brilliance and those who don’t.

The current film from the Farrelly brothers plays like a fine tribute band. The three stars (Will Sasso, Chris Diamontopoulos and Sean Hayes) and their childhood counterparts (Robert Capron, Lance Chantiles-Wertz and Skyler Gisondo) as Curly, Larry and Moe respectively are remarkably good. Their shtik and foley (unfortunately missing concussion birdsongs), faithfully reconstructed with minor updates (chainsaw, microwave oven, etc.) mainly worked well, though a crossing swords bit in a hospital nursery went on too long. The plot, divided into three short acts, is typically silly, involving an orphanage run by nuns (Jane Lynch, Larry David, Jennifer Hudson, et al), a wife (Sofía Vergara) hiring the stooges to murder her husband, and the cast of Jersey Shore.

Of course, like tribute bands, The Three Stooges will never quite match the original shorts, but for an hour and a half will provide a few laughs for adults and hopefully open up a new market for kids who are sure to love it.

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Consensus: Although this remake of The Three Stooges is an uneven family comedy, the film deserves a mild recommendation because Will Sasso, Chris Diamontopoulos and Sean Hayes fit perfectly in the iconic leading roles.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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