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Lloyd Christmas: The True Villain of 'Dumb & Dumber'

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If you're anything like me, you've probably seen the 1994 film "Dumb & Dumber" about a thousand times. Its sequel, "Dumb & Dumber To," is on its way to theaters on November 14, 2014, and I for one can't wait to see it. Here's a recent photo of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels on set for it:

dumb and dumber to on set, lloyd and harry on deer

Giddy with anticipation already, I put the original in the other day and as it played I made a rather startling discovery. As funny as he may be, the character of Lloyd Christmas is constantly wreaking havoc on both he and Harry Dunne's cross country trip to deliver a briefcase that he so selfishly wants to return in order to potentially make it with Aspen socialite, Mary Swanson. Thus, Lloyd is actually the true antagonist of the film.

While it may seem preposterous to accuse Lloyd Christmas of being the film's villain, I'd like you to hear me out as I narrate you through the story, focusing solely on him throughout the adventure. When I'm finished, you'll discover there are no real redeeming qualities to Lloyd, and that Harry's journey, along with everyone the pair come in contact with, is nearly destroyed by his inconsiderate, self-centered actions.

The movie starts off innocently enough with Lloyd pretending to be a big shot in the back of his limo in order to attract the attention of a sexy Austrian woman at the bus stop, but we very quickly realize that when Lloyd sets his sights on something he truly wants, he will consider no one else in the pursuit of it. That "something" in this case happens to be Mary Swanson, and once smitten, Lloyd carelessly injures and maybe even murders several people through his incredibly reckless driving in order to simply talk to her. To top it off, once at the airport, he causes yet another wreck while looking at Mary, almost killing a pedestrian this time, as well. Of course, he flees the scene immediately once he realizes that Mary left her briefcase behind in the terminal.

mary swanson dumn and dumber explosion

Now, this is merely implied to have happened off-screen, but after Lloyd fails to deliver the briefcase, he attempts to go through it but can't get the lock open. So instead, the wheels start spinning in his head and he realizes he can take advantage of his sweet, loyal, yet slow-witted friend and roommate, Harry Dunne, whom he instantly ridicules, calling him "one pathetic loser" for getting fired that day (even though this has happened to Lloyd often). Harry is clearly the breadwinner of the two, as it is implied through their initial conversation that he spent his life savings on his "Mutt Cutts" van (the alarm alone cost him $200) in order to raise enough funds for their worm store venture -- something it seems only Harry is working hard on.

You'd think all that would be enough for Lloyd to cut Harry some slack, but instead, he blames Harry for not paying the gas bill when armed henchmen show up at their door, and the two slip away to unsuccessfully hunt for new jobs.

lloyd grabs harry, dumb and dumber

Later, after spending the last of their dough on booze, sombreros, and copies of the Rhode Island Slut, Lloyd's utter disrespect for elderly women gets him robbed by one. While most people in this situation would see it as a sign that they need to get their life together, Lloyd sees it as an opportunity. It will now be easier to manipulate Harry into driving him to Aspen, especially once he finds out that Harry's parakeet Petey has passed away, too. So he turns on the waterworks, and sure enough, his plan works and the two are on their way (after screwing over the "gas man" one last time with a poorly worded and misspelled note).

lloyd and harry hug, dumb and dumber

However, it wasn't enough to use Petey's death to his advantage once, so Lloyd went ahead and sold the bird corpse to a blind kid for a couple of bucks to boot. Why not? He Scotch Taped the head back on. What a monster.

pretty bird petey blind kid, dumb and dumber

After stopping at a diner on the way to Aspen and mingling with the "laid-back country folk" there (which consists of calling waitresses "Flo" and laughing hysterically in their faces), Lloyd convinces his poor friend Harry that he should throw salt over his right shoulder to bring them good luck, causing an altercation with truck stop bully, Sea Bass. Instead of fessing up that throwing the salt was his idea, or simply backing his friend up, Lloyd instead narcs Harry out immediately in the face of danger, yet still calls him a wimp after Sea Bass spits in his burger.

lloyd points at harry, dumb and dumber

Being the stand up guy that he is, Lloyd is able to help Harry exact revenge on Sea Bass, but with a very cowardly plan he stole from a movie that got the character's throat slit. Nevertheless, his ill-conceived idea works, but causes Harry to be pulled over for speeding. Harry probably wouldn't be that upset about this if Lloyd wasn't also simultaneously spilling urine all over the interior of his van (seriously, if you look closely during the beer bottle scene, you can see pee flying everywhere as Lloyd switches bottles).

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After a run-in with Joe, the "gas man," whom the movie paints as one of the actual bad guys, Lloyd convinces Harry the best course of action after accidentally murdering him is to, again, flee the scene of the crime, a move that now gets the FBI on the duo's tail.

lloyd and harry kill the bad guy, dumb and dumber

Oblivious as they are, they continue their ever-troublesome journey. Lloyd nearly gets them killed while daydreaming of Mary, and also drives them way off course because he was too busy trying to prank Harry while he slept to pay attention to big, obvious road signs (keep in mind that Harry has driven most of the time and never once bothered Lloyd as he slept). If Harry weren't so misguided, thinking that Lloyd is actually savvy for trading in the van for a pull-string moped, this is where the journey would end. Instead, they continue on to Aspen, with Lloyd making Harry ride bitch the rest of the way.

lloyd and harry ride moped, dumb and dumber

As Lloyd slowly pulls into Aspen while holding up several cars in the process, we realize he made Harry come all this way for a woman he doesn't even know the last name of. The two have to spend the night freezing in the park, and Lloyd eventually reveals to a gloveless Harry that he has been wearing two pairs of gloves the whole time. This leads to Harry finally snapping, and the only thing that saves Lloyd from being beaten to a pulp is the money they discover in the briefcase. So does Lloyd put the money back and continue his search for Mary? Of course not. Instead, he uses it to fund a new lavish lifestyle until randomly stumbling upon her location in the newspaper.

lloyd and harry money, dumb and dumber

From here, Lloyd convinces Harry to butter Mary up to meet him, only Harry accidentally gets forced into a date with her himself. Meanwhile, Lloyd readies himself for a meeting with Mary with blatant disregard for everyone, including women he doesn't care about and sympathetic bartenders, until discovering Harry has actually fallen for and stolen Mary from his grasp. Even though this may seem like foul play on Harry for once, keep in mind that Lloyd has stolen Harry's actual girlfriend in the past. Nevertheless, Lloyd sees this as betrayal rather than a "what goes around comes around" situation.

So sure enough, Lloyd then poisons his best friend, steals back Mary while Harry is incapacitated, and tricks her into coming to his hotel room for the briefcase, even though he has already spent all the money he came all this way to return as her knight in shining armor.

lloyd gets revenge on harry, dumb and dumber

When things finally get real and Mary states that she has no interest in Lloyd and is worried about her kidnapped husband, he quickly puts her neck on the line when ransomer Nicholas shows up, making her reveal at gunpoint that the briefcase is full of IOUs. Harry then arrives, and even though Lloyd now stands no chance with Mary, he would still have no problem throwing their friendship out the window for her. He does eventually come around and offer himself up to be killed, but his true colors show soon after and he encourages Nicholas to kill Harry instead. Harry is then shot and would have been murdered had he not been a decent person whom the cops were willing to save. Finally, Harry attempts to save Lloyd's life, and all Lloyd does in return is tell him what a terrible shot he is before the authorities show up and save the day.

harry gets shot, dumb and dumber

Thus ends the story of "Dumb & Dumber" focused primarily on Lloyd. As you've now hopefully seen, he is by no means a good person. In fact, he's quite the jerk who would sacrifice his best friend, anyone's dignity, and even screw over the very person he says he cares about most if it meant getting what he wants (which he never actually puts much thought into). Seeing as how the "villains" of the film are in it for a combined 20 minutes and even then don't expose themselves as the like until the final 10, it would stand to reason there would need to be a bigger antagonist at work for so much to go wrong. I propose Lloyd Christmas, and leave it to you to make your own judgment from there.

lloyd shooting gun, dumb and dumber

 

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