Excellent casting. Poor writing. Poor execution. That’s the unfortunate truth about “The Three Stooges.” But, first…the good points.
Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe Howard is the shining star of this trio when it comes to casting. He is nothing short of brilliant as the reincarnation of the short-tempered and bossy leader. It ain’t just the haircut, either. Diamantopoulos has really captured the comic spirit of these much-beloved numbskulls of decades past.
That’s not to say Sean Hayes and Will Sasso are chopped liver. Their physical resemblence and mannerisms adequately capture the essence of Larry Fine and Curly Howard respectively.
The story is also classic Stooges. But, here is where the fans might part ways with the Farrelly Brothers, who co-wrote and directed this updated version. Too much time is spent of the trio’s back story. They should have eliminated the growing-up scenes with the younger actors and gone straight to the adult stooges. I have absolutely no doubt about this. The juvenile actors and the screenplay didn’t resonate with what was to come. They were just extremely difficult to watch.
And, that brings up the most important point. Why “dumb” down the plot for pre-teens? They are not stupid. They can understand a more complex story and laugh right along with the rest of us. Why not make a film for rank-and-file fans? The original Stooges targeted adults (men) but were loved by children. Don’t tamper with success. The first third of the film resembled a male version of “Annie” more than the original masters of mayhem. Sorry, Marx brothers. These guys were more physical. They were a whole different kind of movie experience.
Disappointed is the word that best describes my feelings. Grade: C-