Apr. 18, 2012 - Issue #861: The Long Game
The Three StoogesNot too heavy on the nyuks but a bit light on sustained yuks, The Three Stooges is occasionally better than its outdated source material. But there's only so much of a 90-minute feature you can silly-stretch out of three vaudeville-era brothers poking, whacking, yanking and kicking each other to cartoon sound effects.
In keeping with the Stooges' work, the movie's divided into episodes, but the story moves Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes), and Curly (Will Sasso) through old-timey sets—orphanage, hospital, palatial home—without having enough fun with their reactions to the outside, 21st century world (except for the movie's one sharp point—Moe's a hit on Jersey Shore, revealing the truly moronic depths of reality TV). Only one sequence—the brothers ring the bell of Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David, in drag and with a kind of mobster screech)—is inspired, intricate physical comedy.
Many sequences strain, from cutesy moments with poor widdle orphans to the dastardly machinations of various foes. There's some pathos when the brothers break up for a while, but otherwise, as with the originals—devoid of character depth, social satire, or other subtext—there's just not enough slap behind the schtick. It's heartfelt humour-homage that ends up more like korny komic karaoke
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