The Three Stooges – The Movie (2012) – By Duane L. Martin

The Three Stooges are one of the most iconic American comedy teams that has ever existed. Men love them, women, for whatever reason, like to claim they’re stupid and they don’t like them, and yet whenever you show them a Three Stooges short, they laugh. It’s hard not to laugh at the Stooges. They’re just good old fashioned, silly fun. But that’s the REAL Three Stooges. What about the new movie from the Farrelly brothers? How do these new Stooges measure up? Well…

This 2012 version of the Stooges finds the boys abandoned as toddlers at a Catholic orphanage run by a group of nuns, headed up by Jane Lynch as the kindly Mother Superior. Larry David also makes a hilarious appearance as Sister Mary-Mengele, the most stereotypically bitchy nun you can possibly imagine.

The boys tried hard to get adopted, and the sisters wanted nothing more than for that to happen, because even as toddlers they were doing the whole slapstick thing, and as they grew into young Stooges, it only got worse. Finally, Moe is adopted by a wealthy couple, but when he tells them he wants them to take Larry and Curly as well, they return him and take another little boy named Teddy instead. The boys eventually grew up in the orphanage and took on the role of handymen. When the monsignor shows up however and informs them all that the orphange is being closed because they owe over eight hundred thousand dollars, the boys take on the mission of saving the orphanage, and its residents by going out into a world they have very little experience in, which leads them into no ends of trouble, including getting wrapped up in a murder plot, perpetrated by their old friend Teddy’s wife Lydia (Sofia Vergera) and her lover Mac (Craig Bierko) against her husband. Will they be able to save both their friend and the orphanage? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

This film follows in the footsteps of other films that bring old characters, somewhat anachronistically into the modern era, incluing The Brady Bunch movies, and The Beverly Hillbillies movie, which all did a great job of making their beloved characters a whole lot of fun. This movie however, really stands out amongst its peers. Sean Hayes as Larry, Will Sasso as Curly and Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe really became the Stooges. Everything from the voices to the mannerisms to the facial and verbal expressions, I’ve never seen such an impressive translation of classic characters to the modern era. When you watch the film, you won’t feel like you’re watching a cheap imitation of the Stooges. After a very short time, you’ll feel like you’re watching the real deal, and that’s about the highest compliment you can pay to any group of actors. These guys just did a fantastic job of bringing these characters to the modern screen, and not just the characters themselves, but also the slapstick that is the Stooges trademark. It’s all so smooth and well executed, with all the right sound effects, that it only adds to the authenticity of it all.

Even the heartbreakingly beautiful Sofia Vergera gets into the act here and there, unafraid to become a part of the comedic silliness on screen, which only makes her all the more appealing. Her lover and cohort in the murder plot, Craig Bierko, adds a huge amount of comedic fun in his role as Mac. After convincing the Stooges that he was her husband and he wanted them to sneak into his room at night and smother him with a pillow because he had a terminal illness and wanted to go out on his own terms, they start trying to kill him in some of the most fun and memorable scenes of the film, and even after they know about the plot, the guy still can’t catch a break.

Over and above the fact that the film is brilliant in so many ways, it also serves a greater purpose, and that is to make modern audiences, who maybe haven’t seen a lot of the Three Stooges, or kids who’ve never seen them, want to see more of the originals, thereby keeping their greatness and their spirit alive for new generations. Will there be another Three Stooges film? I haven’t heard anything about there being one, and I know the Farrelly brothers are currently trying to get Dumb and Dumber To (yes, that’s the title) off the ground. I gotta say though, that if they don’t make another Stooges movie, they’re really missing the boat on a whole lot of potential greatness. These three guys fell into the roles so perfectly, that to not take advantage of that level of talent would be a crime.

This release from Fox on blu-ray and DVD contains the following special features:

Deleted and extended scenes.
What’s the Big Idea?: A History of The Three Stooges.
Knuckleheads: Behind the scenes of The Three Stooges.
Did You Hear That? – The Three Stooges Sound Effects.
Poifect! – Casting The Three Stooges.
The Three Stooges Mash-up.
Original Screen Tests.

This movie is hilariously fun and really brings the true spirit of the Stooges to the modern screen. I know some stuffy purists may have a problem with it, but hey, lighten up, these guys did a phenomenal job and I’m sure there will be a considerable amount of increased interest in the real Three Stooges as a result, so it’s a win-win.

This release would make a fantastic Christmas gift for anyone in the family, so do yourself a favor and add it to your holiday gift list. Your family and friends will thank you.

If you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, or several copies to give to family and friends this holiday season, you can get the DVD or blu-ray + DVD release from Amazon or any of the other usual outlets.