13 April 2012 9:15 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s The Three Stooges is a slavish imitation of the Stooges’ shorts with a trio of eerie replicants — yet wow. Just wow. The combination of childlike glee and grown-up precision is a wonder. The movie actually earns the right to exist, which is no mean feat.The brothers grok the Stooges’ brilliance in spite of the movies’ tiny budgets, patchy scripts, and limited catalogue of routines. Seasoned Jewish vaudevillians, they made music out of incompetence, infantilism, and rage — a symphony of boinks and bonks and hollow thumps and whinnies and rrrruffffffs and “Whatsa mattah with you?”-whomp-ow-ow-ow-ows. Here, the performers transcend mimicry. Despite a touch of Cagney in his diction, Chris Diamontopoulos nails Moe’s inexhaustible irritability, the trembling edge in his voice, the glint in his eye when he knows it’s time to brain either Curly or Larry (or both in succession), and that »


- David Edelstein

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