The Three Stooges are dead... long live the Three Stooges! After a feature film re-introducing the characters was announced a couple of years back by the Farrelly Brothers, the project fell into limbo, and the movie's high-profile cast -- Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Jim Carrey as Larry, Moe and Curly, respectively -- drifted away. Now, it's set up at a new studio, but it still needs a new batch of Stooges! Since we want to see this thing get made, for good or ill, we picked our brains to come up with actors in that general age range who could play the roles, then tried to come up with some younger alternatives, since the movie supposedly starts out showing them all as kids. Hey, the younger they are, the more hits they can take, and the more sequels they can make -- assuming this movie isn't a terrible, terrible idea. (It might be.)
This film is based on a book, which is based on fact ... or some facts. As the opening slate puts it, "More of this is true than you'd like to believe." However, this fictionalized version of those facts really feels like something that came entirely out of the minds of the Coen brothers, and not just because some famous faces from their work (George Clooney, Jeff Bridges) star in this film... though that certainly doesn't help matters at all. But that's not to say that bearing a strong resemblance to a Coens movie is a bad thing -- it's a perfectly fine thing to aspire to. And when it is done well here, it's really funny... but when it isn't, it's pretty dull and boring. Luckily, there's more of the former than the latter, and this ends up being a solid, if not stellar, film.