Story: The antics of The Three Stooges have entertained countless audiences, but these days, the trio is worried about a place to stay, when their antics get them booted out of their apartment. The three were told to come up with some fresh ideas or their television days would be over, so they need to find a new home and fast. Soon enough, they wind up at an eerie castle where a scientist develops all kinds of wild, mysterious creations. The stooges are tasked to earn their room and board, which means helping on some of the scientist’s inventions, including a high tech vehicle that resembles a flying submarine. As often happens, the stooges end up in one mess after another, including being kidnapped aboard the vehicle when aliens arrive to steal the new invention!

Entertainment Value: I like the concept of this feature length adventure with The Three Stooges, but the pace languishes and the laughs aren’t consistent. The story is fun, with the stooges getting into mischief with some aliens and the government, but the narrative is light and struggles to fill the duration. I tend to prefer the stooges’ shorts more than features and that proves true here, as I found this to be overly long and drawn out. Perhaps a shorter runtime would have tightened up the pace and left out the filler, but as it stands, this is a bit of a chore to watch. The set pieces tend to disappoint, as the gags lack energy and creativity, not to mention the comedy set pieces are infrequent. I did appreciate the sci-fi special effects and aliens, but overall, this was a let down and failed to spark the kind of joy the stooges can usually deliver.

As if the slow pace and inconsistent humor weren’t enough, this movie also features Joe DeRita as Curly Joe, which I wasn’t thrilled about. I don’t need Curly Howard to enjoy The Three Stooges, but I don’t connect much with Curly Joe and honestly, I just don’t find him to be very funny. Perhaps in a different environment and not as part of an iconic troupe, DeRita could shine, but I didn’t care for his performance here at all. He doesn’t bring much to the role, with less energy and enthusiasm than expected, while his costars manage to eke a little more out of this material. Moe Howard and Larry Fine perform well, not up to their best work, but more than solid and fun to watch at times. I just wish they had more to do here, as this movie wastes their talents in most of the scenes. The cast also includes Bill Dyer, Carol Christensen, and Norman Leavitt.

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