WIRTB Review: The Sandler Trifecta of Suck - Part Two

Good afternoon. It's Speed on the Beat back with another edition of WIRTB Review. Last time, we looked at the career of one Adam Sandler from 1989 to 2002 to answer the question: was it really that bad? Yes. Yes. Yes. But, he wasn't/isn't done. So, unfortunately, neither am I. After almost winning me over with his performance in Punch-Drunk Love, we got Anger Management. This film spawned the Charlie Sheen show almost a decade later. So, if it can keep Charlie...winning (had to), this couldn't be that bad, right? Eh, yes and no.

By this point, we know two things.
1) Adam Sandler is pretty much always going to play some variation on the character he's been playing for years.
2) Adam Sandler is pretty much always going to play some variation on the character he's been playing for years.

So, by 2003, it's kind of at a "you can either take it or shove it" point. However, Anger Management gets it right in the sense that you went in knowing that you're only there to see Sandler and Jack Nicholson yell at each other. It's on the fucking movie poster, for Pete's sake.

On that, it delivered. On everything else? Eh. It's an easily forgettable, easily interchangeable Sandler movie. Did it have funny bits? Yeah, the monk scene is something that still makes me chuckle. But, again, it's kind of like "eh, it's Sandler being Sandler."

In 2004, we got two opposite sides of the Sandler Spectrum. We got the rom-com 50 First Dates, which paired Sandler with Drew Barrymore again, and we got Spanglish. Since 50 is a movie you've seen in some way before (read: The Wedding Singer with some forget-me-forever-because-retrograde-amnesia elements tossed in) from Sandler, let's look at Spanglish in-depth.

::rewatches Spanglish::

Ok, there isn't that much depth. Mexican mom works for white family. White family starts influencing Mexican mom's daughter. Mexican mom gets upset. White guilt. Mexican mom gets more upset and questions if the daughter wants to run away from her roots. More white guilt. Daughter, in hindsight, is happy she is her mother's child. The end. I mean, yes, Sandler wasn't horrible here. But, the movie was just, I don't know. It just kind of existed. For me, personally, it didn't resonate and that's important.

After Spanglish, Sandler went back to remaking shit. That's how we got 2005's The Longest Yard remake. Now, remember yesterday and how I said that The Longest Yard was practically Billy Madison meets The Waterboy meets mid-00s reality TV? Well, let's find out how.

Adam Sandler plays Johnny Manziel (pretty much) doing his best Waterboy impersonation. This, of courses, gets him tossed in jail. While in jail, he puts together a ragtag group of football players, including Nelly and The Great Khali (see there's the Billy Madison thing, because he's foreign. He's foreign and kind of played as being slow, even though he's kind of not...and stuff. Also, fuck The Great Khali, but that's something for Eyes on the Ring). Chris Rock plays Sandler's Magical Negro before he gets blown to bits by a bomb in a radio. We get male cheerleaders who are in drag, because, y'know, marginalizing sexuality and the like is still hilarious. Oh, and Stone Cold Steve Austin makes an appearance.

If you've ever seen the original film, you know that the convicts win and whatnot. Ain't shit change here, except Adam Sandler is no Burt Reynolds. At all. Ever. Even when you squint your eyes after taking a couple hits of the sticky icky.

But, this movie was successful. As hell. So, someone liked it. And one of those someones (GASP!) was me! Because, yes, this movie was a pale imitation of its source material, but it managed to make me laugh. It managed to toss wrestlers into the fray and not have them look completely out of place (see: Big Show's appearances in every movie he's ever been in, Thunder in Paradise, etc.)

If you're wondering if I'm going to shit on Click for its unoriginal concept, you're pretty mistaken. I accepted when I first saw it that it'd be a movie which ripped off films such as It's a Wonderful Life. However, Click still managed to make me think about my own life, believe it or not. So, it holds a personal place for me. Is it a great movie? Eh. It's cool.

Reign on Me, I know that some critics enjoyed it. I know that, because of its post-9/11 (but not 10th anniversary post-9/11) timing and the maturity of the subject matter, it should be regarded as a good movie. Personally? I got the story, but I just couldn't connect with the characters the way I probably needed to. I think it was because the film kept bouncing from "somewhat funny" to "all-the-way serious."

Fuck Chuck and Larry. That movie was an abomination. It trotted out every gay stereotype you could think of and was more bland than eating a jar of Vaseline. But, as you probably know, this isn't the last time we'll see Kevin James and Adam Sandler together (sadly). Zohan was passable. It didn't offend me as much as it probably could have, but it just, as many of Sandler's films, exists for almost two hours, relying and reworking the same joke. Like, I get it. He's a fish out of water trying to style hair so he doesn't have to kill terrorists. I get it. I just don't fucking care after the 10th time you make mention of it.

Bedtime Stories marked a career change for Sandler. No longer was he just working the 15-38 crowd. He now started to work within the confines of the family film. If you're familiar with the ABC series Once Upon a Time, envision "The Author" of the OUAT "book" with kids and a happier disposition. It's an interesting film and a "cute" one as well. 

And from Bedtime Stories, we get to my favorite Sandler film, Funny People (2009), and one of my least-favorite films ever, Grown Ups (2010). Let's just simplify this. Funny People, while flawed, is a film that combines what was good about films such as Click, Punch-Drunk Love, and even Big Daddy. It adds in Seth Rogen. Rogen and Sandler kind of bounce off one another. It's a beautiful thing. 

Grown Ups, on the other hand, is like drinking a cup of piss which was distilled using feces-covered gym socks from the 1980s. But for some unholy reason (read: money), we'd get a sequel to Grown Ups in 2013.

And we'll tackle that shit storm tomorrow. So, as always, I'm Speed on the Beat. And this is WIRTB Review, where I review the crap so you don't have to.


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