At this juncture, it’s probably best to cease judging promotional content from the Farrelly Brothers‘ “The Three Stooges” as something from a legitimate feature, and instead to look at the six clips released as simply an avant-garde film series. Picture Steve McQueen trying his hand at comedy, and you’ll get a better grasp on the shocking lack of laughs on show.
Collider dutifully offers up the clips, with Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, and Chris Diamantopoulos as the titular characters, and they showcase the trio’s slapstick run-ins with nuns, iPhones, and a pasture of flopping salmon in the most surreal sight gag of the lot. Of course, these only reinforce the project as a lost cause, quality-wise, but more interesting is the question of its faithfulness to the source material. As awkwardly staged and vapidly predictable as it is, there is still a sense that this is what a ‘Stooges’ film in 2012 had to authentically result in. No one would want an angst-ridden Ang Lee‘s take about Moe’s inner rage, and the Farrellys would seem a perfect choice on paper to handle the property, but holistically it’s just not enough. Expectations and comedic sensibilities have clearly changed, even for the under 10 crowd this film is aimed at, and the absolute silence in between eye pokes and sound effects, just lying there waiting for the laugh that never comes is pretty unsettling to say the least.
Still, if those clips nonetheless stirred up something approaching anticipation, “The Three Stooges” lands in theatres April 13th.