There’s a Three Stooges movie coming out next year and while my first reaction has me calling blasphemy and expectations of tarnishing my beloved Stooges’ reputation, the recent trailer shows a glimmer of hope.
Before I get into this, let me first state that I don’t believe the Three Stooges needed a movie. I don’t think any good can come of it. However, I do realize that while The Three Stooges were an important part of my childhood and others from my generation, I’m sure their humor has found a smaller and smaller crowd every decade. So in terms of bringing the Three Stooges to a modern day audience with hopes of having them discover the original Stooge shorts, I’m glad this movie is being made. But I believe it’s the duty of every parent out there to rightfully introduce the Three Stooges to their children properly, not through some modern Hollywood attempt to capture the magic.
The new Stooges
The first good thing about the Three Stooges trailer is that it proves this movie is not loaded with star power, which is exactly what it needs. Earlier reports through around names like Jim Carrey and Sean Penn as possible Stooges. Going with big name celebrities would have been the kiss of the death for this movie, and I’m going to assume that even the great Jim Carrey wouldn’t want to risk not doing the Stooges justice. Visually, the new Stooges look pretty good. They even nailed many of the dialects and sounds for the most part…it’s a damn good Moe. The 2-minute trailer also highlights standard issue Stooge slapstick antics and appear to be pulled off quite well. All that is well and good but the best thing I saw in the new Three Stooges trailer wasn’t any one bit of action or actor.
The best thing the Farrelly brothers chose to do was NOT update the Three Stooges. When this movie was announced, images of “modern day” Stooges entered my head. I was happy to see this new movie leaves to the Stooges more or less untouched and instead throws them into the modern day only by technology and environment. I was also very pleased to see they kept all the sound effects and “ridiculous” setups intact. This movie looks like it’s less about putting the Stooges in the current world and more so putting the modern day in the Stooges world, where physics, pain and common sense don’t really exist.
The time problem
So it seems like a lot of care has been put into the new Three Stooges movie to preserve their brand of humor, but I wonder how a 90-minute Stooge movie will settle with not only fans but the general public. The Three Stooges shine in 10-minute shorts where their slapstick and one-liners are carefully choreographed, but I’m not sure if that type of humor can survive for more than an hour. I have several Stooge DVDs and despite me loving the Stooges, you can only watch so many shorts back-to-back before everything starts to wear a little thin. Putting the guys into a full-length movie suggests there will be an actual plot but I’m not sure the Stooges were meant for plotlines. I mean, the Stooges did do movies during their time…but those aren’t remembered all that well nor very fondly. If the Stooges couldn’t pull off a movie in their semi-prime, how can three new Stooges hope to do so?
All in all, what I see in the trailer doesn’t really rub me the wrong way outside of the fact that I still don’t believe the Three Stooges need a modern day movie or update. If Hollywood wants to revive the Stooges, they should start showing original Stooge shorts before new movies in theaters, just as God intended. I’m sure audiences would much rather sit through a black-n-white Stooge classic (or even a Looney Tunes) before new The Avengers movie than watch a bunch of commercials.