All About Japan

Japan Goes Dumber to the Max

| Movies , Japanese Commercials

It's no news that overseas movies often get a name change when they come to Japan. Big Hero 6 became Baymax. Mad Max: Fury Road became Mad Max: Ikari no Death Road (Mad Max: Death Road of Rage). So when you're introducing a movie with a title based on a pun, what do you do? For Dumb and Dumber To, the answer was simple: Go to the Max.

The original Dumb & Dumber was known in Japan as Mr. Dumber, and it didn't make enough of an impact that many people remember it 20 years later. While the sequel does have a lengthy prefix nodding to the original (Kaette Kita Mr. Dumber, which roughly translates as, "You've come back, Mr. Dumber!"), all the weight lands on the subtitle: Baka-Max. Baka, naturally, is the Japanese word for idiot.

With both Baymax and Mad Max having made such a huge impression in the last year, the gratuitous use of "max" is an easy attention-getter, and the trailer milks it for all it's worth. Starting by noting that Dumb and Dumber To actually knocked Big Hero 6 from the top spot in the U.S. box office, the announcer concludes by declaring: "This isn't Mad Max: it's Baka-Max!"

Kaette Kita Mr. Dumber: Baka-Max opened in Japan on November 20, 2015—exactly a year and two weeks after its U.S. premiere. We're still waiting to see whether Japanese audiences will be as disproportionately enthusiastic about it as the trailer seems to be.