Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Top 5: Worst Adam Sandler Movies

I just watched ‘The Ridiculous 6’, and it’s bad. I mean it is really, shockingly, horrendously, painfully, outrageously, stupendously, horrifically (did I say painfully?) bad. Not only is it bad as a film, it is bad by Sandler standards, by which I mean the standards we’ve come to expect from Adam Sandler over the years. Even as someone who was never overly fond of what are usually considered his best films (such as ‘Happy Gilmore’ and ‘The Waterboy’) it is painful to see how often he is missing the mark with his comedies. It is remarkable as well, because way back in 2002, many critics thought he had found a new lease of life with his amazing performance in PT Anderson’s ‘Punch Drunk Love’, but instead of sticking to interesting and innovative dramas, Sandler went in the opposite direction and his movies became stupider and lazier as the years went on.

So instead of wasting time with reviewing this terrible film, I thought I would create a top five list of the worst films of Adam Sandler. However, that title may be a bit misleading as it would be easy to summarise his absolute worst films that are reviled by everyone. What I want to do here is narrow down the worst five through my own opinion of them. They can either be here due to disappointment, laziness, wasted potential or just outright badness. A few dishonourable mentions include ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’ (for being offensively awful, as well as outright offensive with one demeaning stereotype after another) ‘Bedtime Stories’ (which was a decent enough concept but lacked originality or charm, the inclusion of Russel Brand does not help) ‘Click’ (another mildly interesting concept gone terribly wrong), ‘Grown Ups 2’ (in fact, add the first one there as well, they are both dreadful) ‘Blended’ (because producing and starring in a feature film should not be an excuse to send yourself on a vacation to Africa) ‘The Cobbler’ and ‘Little Nicky’. But now for the main five:

5: Pixels

 To be fair this is not the worst Sandler film, not really one of the five worst by a long shot. Hence the reason why I elaborated on my criteria of personal disappointment. I remember really wanting to like this movie, with such an interesting concept, unique and charming special effects that effectively brought 1980s video games to the modern world and a good cast with Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad. However all of these elements are marred down by the usual clichés, tired characters and depraved humour of Sandler’s involvement. It really does feel like a film about video games that was made by people who know literally nothing about video games. The fact that the film issued copyright notices and removed any video on Vimeo that contained the word ‘Pixels’ in it (including, ironically, the original short film that this piece of garbage is based on) didn’t help.

4: Jack and Jill

 Surprised that it’s only number 4? Well I do not blame you as even his most loyal fans admit that ‘Jack and Jill’ is a low point (we hope). It is annoying beyond belief, yet somehow never manages to find comedy in that aspect. Product placement, stereotypes, a drag act that we are supposed to feel compelled towards and humour that a toilet would deem inappropriate are all reasons why ‘Jack and Jill’ is a monstrosity of filmmaking. And why is Al Pacino in this movie, why?

3: The Ridiculous Six

 The worst thing about this latest outing may be the fact that there have been some fairly amazing westerns this year, such as ‘Slow West’ and ‘The Salvation’ and the upcoming ‘The Revenant’ and ‘The Hateful Eight’. This only makes what is supposed to be a western parody more horrific and unwatchable. It is everything I hated about the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise of parody without admiration or love, as well as the usual brand of humour that is humourless. This one didn’t even wait until its release to offend people, with Native American cast members walking off set during production.

2: Eight Crazy Nights

 When you look at the beautiful animation of this Hanukah based holiday special you may question why it is ranked this low, but the wonderful aesthetic only makes the content more painful. A classic example of Sandler shoving himself to the limelight as he plays a down-on-his-luck, diamond-in-the-rough (never seen that in a Sandler film before) who is taken in by an elderly mentor (also played by Sandler) and his sister (also played by Sandler). Above all else, every character in this film is just so unlikable and unsympathetic, but not in a satirical way as halfway through the film changes course to try and include a poorly characterised and overly sentimental story. Not only that, but the humour is tasteless again (a highlight includes a man being covered in excrement before having it licked off by reindeer) and the most blatant product placement in film history, in which at the conclusion of the film, the lead character’s emotional crisis is solved when he has a dream in which actual store mascots come to life and guide him through it, basically telling him to put aside any personal dilemmas in favour of mass consumerism (I am not even kidding, watch the film and find out for yourself). Think of it as the exact opposite of the ‘Charlie Brown Christmas Special’.

1: That’s My Boy

 I can only imagine the reaction of a production company when they heard a pitch about a comedy in which a student is raped by his teacher and then must father the child that came from it years later, with all the masturbation and incest jokes you could ask for. The humour is as horrific as any other film on this list, but the fact that it packs more disturbing sexual aspects than the entirety of ‘Game of Thrones’ but exploits them for an attempt at comedic value as opposed to effective storytelling. It is offensively crude, excruciatingly humourless and insensitive to just about everyone.

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