PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Saturday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
By Tom Glasson
June 29, 2012
  shares

The Three Stooges

Short, silly and charmingly harmless, but only Stooges aficionados will find a whole lot to love.
By Tom Glasson
June 29, 2012
  shares

There’s something enticing about a Hollywood passion piece. Moneyball took Brad Pitt four years to get off the ground, The Avengers didn’t enter production until seven years after it was announced and Christopher Nolan spent the better part of a decade trying to nail down his script for Inception. For Warner Bros, it was way back in 2001 when they first acquired the rights to a Three Stooges film and attached brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly to direct. But then came the inevitable delays, prolonged writers’ strikes and ongoing casting dilemmas (Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jim Carey were all at one time set to play the trio before each withdrew for separate reasons) – not to mention that no one was really clamouring for a Stooges film to be made in the first place.

Finally, though, filming began in May of last year and the result has just hit our screens; or rather - punched, jabbed, boinked, slammed, slapped, spanked and slugged our screens. The old Stooges brand of comedy was the epitome of slapstick and the Farrelly brothers have boldly stayed true to its form in this offering. Larry, Curly and Moe bash each other with the frequency, wantonness and utter inconsequence of a WWE match, using anything from a salmon to a chainsaw to land their blows. Sometimes it’s funny; usually it’s not, and therein lies the problem of basing an entire movie around a single (and in many ways out-dated) style of entertainment. This is definitely a movie for the old Stooges fans; an homage that’s impressive in its recreation but unlikely to attract many new enthusiasts to the cause.

Sean Hayes (Jack from Will and Grace) plays Larry in an almost unrecognisable performance – completely transforming himself via the iconic ‘shaved up top / uncontrollably curly out the sides’ haircut. Will Sasso, meanwhile, tackles the hardest of the three roles with his version of Curly: the high-pitched, hot-headed and dog-barking barrel of a man used by the others as anything from a trampoline to a battering ram. Then finally there’s Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe: the interminably surly ringleader with the bowl haircut and Brooklyn inflection. Together they bust out every “soytenly”, “why I oughta” and “nyuk nyuk nyuk” you’d expect from a Stooges film with remarkable fidelity to their predecessors’ accents and expressions.

Plot was rarely the focus of the two hundred or so original Stooges shorts and it doesn’t factor a whole lot here, either. When the boys’ orphanage runs into financial trouble, they head out into the world to try to raise the necessary $830,000 themselves, one hair-brained scheme after the next. Femme fatale Lydia (Sofia Vergara) spies an opportunity to capitalise on their naivety by recruiting them to murder her husband, while the producers of Jersey Shore see a chance to cash in on their eccentricities by throwing one of them into ‘the house’. It’s one of those films where the writers threw a gag into every line based on the idea that if you swing at every pitch, you’ll eventually hit a few out of the park. Others might call it a war of attrition. Either way, while The Three Stooges may not set the world on fire, it also never stops trying to win you over. What’s more, when it does land a joke it’s so harmless and well intentioned that you can’t help but laugh from that wonderful, wholesome part of your belly where dad-jokes normally reside.

NEARBY PLACES

  • List
  • Map

SIMILAR EVENTS

  • List
  • Map

NEARBY EVENTS

  • List
  • Map
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel