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Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser (2015)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 1/5/2016
All Ratings out of
Extras: No Extras
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 1/4/2016
There are plenty who would argue that Hollywood has run out of original ideas and when you look around at all of the remakes and reboots...it's really difficult to put up any sort of defense against this idea. As we've discussed before, you can also put belated sequels into this category. Nothing says desperation like that sense that someone thought, "Hey! This was a hit a long time ago. Let's continue the story." Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but most films in this category are bad news. (Yes, I'm looking at you,Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.) This can get even more uncomfortable when a belated sequel to a movie which wasn't a huge hit to begin with arrive, such as Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser.
Joe Dirt (David Spade), as you'll remember, was a mullet-sporting moron who had been abandoned by his parents as a child and was forever seeking a home and family, which he found with Brandy (Brittany Daniel). Along the way to find happiness, Joe had all sorts of misadventures. Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser begins not long after the finale of the first film. Joe and Brandy are married and they have triplets. Yes, Joe is still pretty much a loser, as he can't keep a steady job and people still pick on him. When a tornado hits, Joe is swept away in the family's trailer and he lands in 1965. Desperate to get back to his family, Joe begins a journey to make sure that he retraces the steps to meet Brandy. But, he also begins to suspect that his trip back in time has a special purpose.
When some people see a title like Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, their first reaction may be "Why?". That's not a bad question. 2001'sJoe Dirt was a minor hit at best, bringing in about $10 million more than it's reported budget and receiving generally negative reviews. (The movie has an 11% on RottenTomatoes.com.) But, like so many movies today, Joe Dirt found new life on home video and shows up regularly on cable TV. And while the movie is incredibly stupid, I have to say that I find parts of it funny. But, was anyone clamoring for a sequel? I don't know about that, but I can tell you this. When you dump a movie like this direct-to-DVD, that is telling the world something. As Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser premiered on Sony's free app Crackle, the odds of it being good seemed rather low.
Or, about how non-existent? Whereas some people ask why this movie exists, my question is why did David Spade and his writing partner Fred Wolf (who directs here) decide that putting the Joe Dirt in a story which is a combination of Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, and It's a Wonderful Life was a good idea? I didn't mind the notion of seeing the zany antics of Joe Dirt again, as Spade nailed the cocky-but-clueless redneck character in the first film. But, placing Joe in a quasi-fantasy plot takes slight exaggerations seen in the first film and blows them completely out of proportion.
I fully realize that Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser is not a movie which one is truly supposed to think about, but the story is all over the place and rarely makes any sense. Joe is transported back to the year that he was born, but he's an adult forced to live his entire life again. What? Why didn't he simply travel to the Grand Canyon and fix the problem with his parents from the first film? (And "because they are jerks" isn't a sufficient answer.) Instead, like Forrest Gump, Joe travels the country, inadvertently inventing common things and miraculously running into characters from the first film. The movie thinks that it's being clever by having Joe become Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, but this is essentially a mis-guided remake of the first film and it's quite short on originality.
Of course, the biggest problem here is that the movie simply isn't funny. I laughed a total of three times, and two of those were cat jokes. The lack of humor is definitely connected to the film's tone. While Joe Dirt was certainly crass, it had an odd sense of innocence to it. This new film is decidedly mean-spirited at times and it have no sense of when an idea has ceased to be the least bit humorous. The movie is also poorly edited, especially in the first act, were shots simply run on too long. This isn't Wolf's first time in the director's chair, as he made 2008'sThe House Bunny, which is certainly a serviceable film. But, here, he seems to have no idea what he is doing.
So, 14 years later, Joe Dirt returns in a movie entitled Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, and, trust me, none of us are winners for it. I really like David Spade and I love the fact that someone who likes to come across as droll and urbane actually grasps redneck culture. But, for some reason, the white trash goodness is set aside here for a film which takes on fantasy elements, and insists on recycling jokes not from the first film but from this movie. The result is a complete disappointment which proves that not every story needs to be continued.
Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser could have used a HEMI on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 nd the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 25 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look fine and the picture is never overly dark or bright. While the level of detail is acceptable, the image is somewhat soft at times, and the depth is slightly less impressive than most Blu-ray Discs. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.1 Mbps. The track provide clear dialogue and sound effects. The music in the film sounds fine and delivers distinguished bass effects. The stereo and surround effects aren't overwhelming, but they provide enough presence to let us know when sounds are coming from off-screen.
The Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser Blu-ray Disc contains no extra features.
Review Copyright 2016 by Mike Long