Monday, May 30, 2016

The Do-Over Review

Last year, the Netflix-Adam Sandler collaboration began with the film The Ridiculous Six, and despite the fact that I advertise myself as being willing to watch anything and it being only a click away, I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. I added it to my queue and I would occasionally hesitate over it with consideration, but in the end I would move on to presumably greener pastures.

Round two of their partnership landed on Friday with the new movie The Do-Over, and when I decided to browse through Netflix options, there it was being advertised at the very top of the page. I couldn't help but smile, not only because of the temptation to torture myself but also the nostalgic wave of seeing Sandler and David Spade in the frame, remembering a time when I was much younger and would actually seek out these two actors for entertainment. Often times that nostalgic bath is warm and inviting. This time it was tepid and dirty, more of a reflection of what the hell happened than a joyous gateway into the past.

There was a time in which the question of one's favorite actor would come up, and it was a normal and expected answer to say Adam Sandler. Growing up his earliest films were celebrated and viewed on repeat, as if Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore were The Godfather and Citizen Kane of comedies. Now even spending 90 minutes of your life sitting and watching one of his movies feels almost shameful, like you should apologize to others for not utilizing your own fleeting free time more efficiently. Well, I am here to admit I did it this time. I didn't move on to presumably greener pastures. I pressed play.

Much to my surprise, the first 10 to 20 minutes weren't awful. Let's be clear, it was never even borderline good, but I wasn't feeling pained or physically ill enduring it as usually I am disgusted by the misogynistic, homophobic and horribly crude attempts at garnering laughs with low hanging, juvenile fruit. These opening scenes passed by and they were completely unfunny, but I fell into a mindless daze of watching with boredom rather than finding anything egregiously offensive. I considered the possibility that perhaps I may even be entertained eventually during The Do-Over? Could it be?

No. It couldn't. While a majority of the movie is in fact simply boring, I should have known better that going an entire Happy Madison picture without some sort of straight male gay panic or a terribly written, objectified female character was an impossibility. To be fair, Paula Patton's character Heather Fishman isn't really poorly written as much as she's treated apathetically, a completely wasted character meant to wear sexy clothing and do nothing more than get out of the way of the bag of shit jokes being delivered by Sandler playing...well, himself in every other movie like this, and David Spade being the pathetic push-over, life is meaningless nerdy guy, which is a really original take.

The plot of The Do-Over revolves around Sandler, who plays Max Kessler, and Spade as Charlie McMillan, both looking for a fresh start in life so they fake their deaths and get away from it all. What follows are a series of headache inducing twists and turns in this ridiculously awful story that you will be begging for simplicity, as sometimes the most satisfying laughs come from simply developing character and relationships rather than seeing how many locations and set pieces and cartoonish cameos you can cram into the nonsensical narrative.

The last 20 or so minutes of the movie, I was still present and I continued to listen to the horseshit spilling through the speakers of my television, but I admit I started playing Yahtzee on my phone. Best decision I could have made. Hell, who could blame me? I am still far more embarrassed that I even watched The Do-Over or am even writing this review. I couldn't ignore that voice inside my head asking what it was that made me love Sandler so much when I was a kid. This movie didn't provide any answers. In fact, I am more confused now than ever before.



  1. This is basically how I felt about Sandler for the last...god how many years? Let's say ten. As a kid I loved Happy gilmore, Mr deeds, and Big daddy. Those were my three go to comedies, but I honestly don't know what to think about Sandler. He makes bad movie after bad movie and they still make money. Not big money, but money nonetheless. And it does hurt to watch his movies. I can't believe I said that. The last movie I watched by him was Jack and Jill, and I only gave that a try because one actor playing two roles is always chance that could go really well in showing their acting chops....well not in this case. I think I actually felt sick after seeing that, and ever since I have not seen another of his movies. Not even his films I do like.

    1. The thing is, this new Netflix deal it really doesn't even matter how they perform, at least not to us. We won't even know. He signed a deal to pay him 20 million (!!!!) per movie for 4 movies straight to their service.

      What that proves though, because Netflix isn't stupid, is that these terrible films he makes are worth more than that to them. He is still a strong enough draw that Netflix feels people will sign up for their service and keep it partially because of Sandler and his movies. Crazy.