Review: The Three Stooges

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

PLOT: Larry (Sean Hayes), Curly (Will Sasso) and Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) leave the confines of their orphanage for the first time, in order to save it from foreclosure. They get tangled up with a femme fatale (Sofia Vergara) and her lover (Craig Bierko) – who try to fool the boys into murdering her husband, thus letting her inherit his fortune.

REVIEW: After nearly twenty years of development, The Farrelly Bros., passion project, a modern update of THE THREE STOOGES, finally hits the big screen. A virtual who’s who of heavyweight actors (Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Jim Carrey) have, at one time or another been attached to the project. However, the Farrelly’s eventually decided to hedge their bets with lesser names- which probably turned out to be the right choice. The three guys, Diamantopoulos as the near-psychotic Moe, Sean Hayes (the biggest name- from WILL & GRACE) as the scatterbrained Larry, and Will Sasso (MAD TV) as the clumsy oaf Curly do a damn-near perfect job of recapturing the essence of the Stooges (no Shemp though).

That said, I still hated this movie…

The thing is- I just don’t understand why THE THREE STOOGES needed to come back. I’m sure they were funny in their time, but this brand of slapstick humor is archaic. Heck, even in the forties they were considered lowbrow (let’s not forget, this was the time of Preston Sturges and screwball comedies). Still, the original shorts have a certain charm, if you take them in the original 10-15 minute, bite size chunks. But a ninety-minute Stooges movie? The first ten minutes of Stooges antics- funny. The other eighty minutes- painful.

The Farrelly’s devotion to the original shorts is slavish, although they obviously can’t resist sprinkling in some maudlin sentiment towards the end. In a concession to commerciality, the classic Stooges pie-fight is replaced by a peeing babies fight (yes- peeing babies- that’s not a typo), and if that sounds like your idea of fun- then by all means, SEE this movie.

We also get a (too) generous helping of the JERSEY SHORE cast, thanks to a plot twist in the film’s third episode (it’s cut into three parts- that tell one continuous story) that sees the boys separated for a while. The only good side of this is that the JERSEY SHORE gang actually manages to make the Stooges look reasonably intelligent by comparison.

But oy vey, this was a painful movie for me to sit through. The thing is, the THREE STOOGES just aren’t my thing. Everything about this hit the wrong note for me- even Larry David as a cross-dressing nun (although on the upside we do get Kate Upton as a BARELY dressed nun). However, if you happen to be a THREE STOOGES fan, or are between the ages of 5-7, you might have a great time. It’s probably as good as a THREE STOOGES movie could be, so take from that what you will.

Review: The Three Stooges




About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.