In my opinion, Adam Sandler has not made a good movie since Mr. Deeds in 2002, and that was far from his best work. Earlier this year we saw the actor fail to be funny once more in Pixels and so when it was announced that Netflix had signed him up to make several original movies for them, it’s safe to say that I wasn’t too optimistic.
Director: Frank Coraci
Starring: Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, Nick Nolte
Run Time: 119 Mins
Release Date: Out Now via Netflix
The first movie to come out of this deal is The Ridiculous 6 and with the trailer showing off an impressive cast, my optimism grew slightly, could taking away the pressure of the big-screen and giving Sandler more freedom help him create something worth of watching? It certainly looked that way at the time.
Set in the mid-1800’s, The Ridiculous 6 is a comedy western – they always work out well don’t they Seth MacFarlane? Sandler plays White Knife, a white settler who is raised from childhood by Native Americans after his mother is killed. Over the years he has been learnt and mastered the mystical ways of the tribe.
White Knife’s life is thrown upside down when his long lost father, Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte), turns up to offer him his ill-gotten gains from his life as an outlaw. Unfortunately, this isn’t a simple tale of inheritance, as Stockburn’s gang soon follow wanting their share of the fortune. With his father taken hostage and the gang sent on a wild goose chase, White Knife must set out on an adventure to come up with the money and save his father.
Not long into his ‘epic’ quest, White discovers he has five half brothers, all illegitimate children of Stockburn. In walks long-time Sandler collaborator Rob Schneider, who plays Ramon, the ultimate Mexican stereotype equipped with Schneider’s standard bad voice acting. Twilight werewolf turned nobody, Taylor Lautner plays Lil’ Pete, a half-wit redneck, given that the height of his acting career has long since passed, it’s safe to say that he offers very little here.
The extended family continues with Jorge Garcia who plays Herm, a hermit that communicates in grunts and actions, Terry Crews plays Chico, a piano player and finally Luke Wilson, an actor not unfamiliar with bad movies, plays Danny, a drunk haunted by his past. Together they form the titular Ridiculous 6 and devise a variety of ways to steal the money needed to save their father.
It is at this point that you would expect the hilarity to ensure, but yet again, Adam Sandler let’s us down with the slapstick comedy during each escapade being as predictable and boring as the last. In a comedy like this you expect, or a least hope, for a few laughs along the way, but sadly they never come.
I almost smiled a little, once, during a random scene where they meet Abner DoubleDay (John Tuturro) who is inventing the game of Baseball. This scene was mildly amusing but didn’t actually take the plot anywhere and probably would have been better suited in a Saturday Night Live sketch.
As the movie comes to its conclusion, the final showdown with Stockburn’s kidnappers does nothing to increase the viewing pleasure, it is predictable and you’ll see the twist coming a mile away. By the time the story gets to this point there is so much bad will that you don’t actually care for any of the characters, good or bad. Who wins in the end? It really doesn’t matter.
With the amount of money thrown at this deal by Netflix, you would at least hope that the movie’s production quality was of the highest standard but somehow Sandler finds a way to mess this up as well. The daytime scenes are ok but any of the scenes shot during the night are so dark that you can hardly see what is happening.
The supporting cast list is impressive with the likes of Steve Buscemi and Harvey Keitel joined by Danny Tejo and Will Forte. Despite how much these actors must have cost Netflix, they are unfortunately underused. The main cast are sadly less than stellar, overacting throughout the movie to the point where you will lose interest and never really care about what they are saying, even on those rare occasions when it does develop the plot.
Adam Sandler has tried to make a parody of Western movies similar to Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles but has completely missed the mark at every level. There is no humour anywhere to be found, the slapstick is too far fetched and the one liners aren’t funny. The storyline is boring and predictable and the actors ham up their roles way too much.
The one and only good thing about this movie is the soundtrack, which uses similar music to what was used in the classic westerns of the 1950s and 60s. If you want to see a good western which is likely to contain some humour in it then I would suggest waiting a few weeks and going to see Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful 8, as I expect that to be 100 times better than this substandard movie.