Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved the Three Stooges. About three years ago, I heard that they were thinking of making a new-aged movie remake of this beloved classic, and I was MAD. There was no way I thought ANYONE could ever plausibly pull off these jokes like The Stooges did. Everybody knew Larry, Moe, and Curly (plus Shemp. I never liked Joe or Culry-Joe, they didn’t belong on the show), and everyone knew their trademark slapstick moves and sounds, but there had to have been a reason why nobody has ever seriously attempted to carry on without them.
All the same, while I disliked the idea of a remake of The Stooges, I decided to follow the process just the same. When the first cast came out, I was like UGHHHHH…. Benicio Del Toro as Moe, Sean Penn as Larry, and JIM CARRY as Curly… I thought the movie was doomed. I stopped following it after that, until several months to about a year later, when I heard the cast was changed. Now it was Chris Diamantopoulos (that’s a mouthful) as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry, and Will Sasso as Curly. I had never seen any of them in anything before, so I had no idea how to judge this. A friend of mine seemed surprised at the news that Will Sasso was cast as Curly, but he said “he might be able to pull that off.” Sean Hayes I knew was in that Will and Grace show, but I had never watched it. Chris Diaphragm-opolus (I’m not even gonna try to retype his last name) I had never heard of before. I was guessing he was an unknown.
Okay, so now to my review. While the movie still does not come close to living up to the legend, it was a good attempt. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. The modern setting automatically detracted from it, and the fact that these three weren’t Moe, Larry, or Curly was a little hard to get over, but the story was decent, and the writing style of the script was pretty faithful to the characters. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the story of the film in this review, because when dealing with the Three Stooges, what you should be considering when debating whether or not to watch this movie, is how good the Stooges themselves are.
I’m gonna start with Larry. I had plenty of problems with him from the get-go. Louis Feinberg’s distinctive look was natural to him. His hair, when not styled, would naturally fluff out to the Larry look we all know and love. Sean Hayes obviously does not have any hairline similar to Larry’s, so they gave him a wig and a (obvious) fake fore-head to account for the not-balding. This cover-up hair looked way too forced in the final film, and detracted from the movie overall. He actually does a pretty good job talking like Larry, if you’re not looking at him and just listening. I just had a hard time getting over that. He does do some of Larry’s mannerisms pretty good. Bernie Mac once said that Larry was his favorite Stooge because, according to him, what made Larry funny was his reactions. Curly had his child-like personality and Moe was the punisher, but Larry was always the one in the back reacting to Moe and Curly. Occasionally he’d come to the front but would be pushed down again.
Widely considered to be the favorite Stooges, Curly’s shoes would have no doubt been the most daunting to fill. He was easily the most iconic of the three, with Moe probably being a close second. Will Sasso’s Curly was just annoying close for me. He had moments where it felt like watching Curly again, but then there were moments when it just wasn’t Curly. The two things that bothered me the most were 1) His hair line and 2) the “Woo-woo”s. I don’t know why the hair line bothered me so much, but if you look at the real Curly, you’ll notice that Curly just had a shaved head. He wasn’t balding at all like Sasso. And when Sasso did the “Woo-woo”, it just sounded like a poor imitation. Curly is just too iconic to recreate. But I liked Curly more than Larry in the film. I’m sure some purist might disagree, but Curly was just alright. Not terrible, but not Curly.
There’s a reason I saved Moe for last. Moe is possibly the second most iconic stooge (the argument can be made that Shemp is the second most), with him being the ringleader of the trio. Moe in the movie is PERFECT. To a tee, I cannot think of a single bad thing to say about Chris Dilophosaurus’s performance in the movie. He looks like Moe, He talks like Moe, he sounds like Moe, and he ACTS like Moe! I read somewhere that Moe’s granddaughter went to the premiere of the movie, and came out saying she thought she was watching her grandfather all over again. He does not disappoint at all. The directors also created a back story for his character, which at first I thought would be detracting, but in the end, it strengthens the story of the film, and makes Moe’s performance even better.
All in all, with all things considered, I would give this movie a 6.5 to 7 out of 10. The reason I say “6.5 to 7” is because I am slightly conflicted about how much I loved Moe, but were just annoyingly almost impressed by the other two. Moe’s just that good. To me, Moe alone makes this film worth watching on his own.