The Three Stooges: Does Chainsaw Humor Play Well in 2012?

The Three Stooges Movie
Chris Diamantopoulos (Moe), Sean Hayes (Larry), and Will Sasso (Curly) as The Three Stooges | 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

I just sent off my review of The Three Stooges to my family movie syndicators (marketing alert: if you’re interested in running my family movie and TV reviews, learn more here), and I have mixed views about this movie.

On the one hand, the guys are fantastic. Chris Diamantopoulos (Moe), Sean Hayes (Larry), and especially Will Sasso (Curly) not only have all the right moves, but also great timing. It’s easy to watch this movie and feel like you’re watching the real-life Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard in the original shorts from the 1930s and 40s.

The Three StoogesBut I’m not totally sure their brand of humor plays that well in 2012. I don’t mind the eye-poking, head-smashing and catapulting. To me, that’s typical Three Stooges humor you’d expect to find in a movie about them.

But I downright cringed when Moe took a running chainsaw to Curly’s head, and later when another character was hit by a bus, and we actually SAW him get run over by that bus. It made me edgy, and I had to stop and figure out why. Aren’t those typical Stooges stunts, too?

Well, no. Stunts like that hit too close to home. Watch the news every day, and you’ll hear about all kinds of tragedies. I keep thinking about that awful accident a while back where the girl’s arm was cut off by a helicopter blade. Not that something like that would ever end up in a Three Stooges movie — I would hope not, anyway.

In the movie, there are also some stunts involving guns, and those make me cringe, too.  I’m not totally anti-gun, but I’m anti-guns-handled-with-careless-abandon. People with guns kill other people — both intentionally and accidentally.

To the Farrelly Brothers’ credit, they included a funny little “don’t try this at home, kids” disclaimer at the end of the movie — complete with the studly Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Justin Lopez portraying the Farrelly Brothers. They showed how the hammers and other objects were made of soft sponge or breakaway materials. It’s probably not a bad idea.

I had a Twitter conversation with a friend last week about whether kids try to imitate things they see onscreen. He said if that was the case, then kids would be trying to drop anvils on each other like Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. Still, there’s a difference between cartoon characters and real people.

Am I taking The Three Stooges humor too seriously? Does it hit too close to real-life tragedies? Or should I just relax and laugh it off?

Comments

12 responses to “The Three Stooges: Does Chainsaw Humor Play Well in 2012?”

  1. MyKidsEatSquid Avatar

    Thanks for your review. This movie didn’t appeal to me in the first place–your review just confirms I’ll be skipping this one. Even on video

  2. Roxanne Avatar

    This kind of humor does NOTHING for me, but I’ve seen friends post on social media that they laughed, laughed, laughed … so if it makes some people happy, I guess that’s OK.

  3. Melanie Votaw Avatar

    I never liked the original Three Stooges, and I know I wouldn’t appreciate chainsaw humor or getting run over by a car. I love the actors involved, but I don’t think i could stomach this. I may watch it eventually on cable or streaming, but no way will I see it on a big screen.

  4. Loonie L. Avatar
    Loonie L.

    I’m really a huge fan of the three stooges. I’ve watched their episodes when I was a kid. What’s your favorite scene by the way? Thanks for sharing the video here.

    -Loonie

  5. BT Hadley Avatar
    BT Hadley

    We all are kids at heart and I loved the simple humor in this movie. Get over it and go get a laugh. It’s refreshing to see a slapstick movie and a comedy that doesn’t have swearing every other word. By the way the saw on the head scene is in the original Three Stooges.

  6. Carmen Avatar
    Carmen

    This movie didn’t appeal to me in the first place–your review just confirms I’ll be skipping this one. Thanks for posting

  7. Liz Avatar
    Liz

    I love the actors involved, but I don’t think i could stomach this. Thanks for the great blog.

  8. Sheryl Avatar

    This is easy for me to skip…never ‘got’ their humor, anyway…

  9. Jennifer Avatar
    Jennifer

    I don’t think i could stomach this. I may watch it eventually on cable or streaming, but no way will I see it on a big screen.

  10. sarah henry Avatar

    Not my cup of tea, either, though I grew up on a steady diet of Stooges.

  11. Alexandra Avatar

    I was a fan of the Three Stooges growing up. I think I will stick to the re-runs.

  12. sadasivam Avatar

    I like the hair style of the third one – Larry Fine. It is very funny 🙂 I think that he could have spent more money for a proper hair cut.

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