I knew I shouldn’t have done it. No, buying those Pikachu slippers is not a regret of mine. The decision I made occurred this afternoon whilst I was recovering from a sub crawl the previous day where, like anyone, I booted up Netflix to put on in the background while I curled up into a ball in bed and slowly died.
Then I saw it. The Ridiculous 6.
I should have just avoided it completely and put on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for the 50th time but no. I watched Adam Sandler’s latest film with the mentality that if Netflix have some involvement then it might be a half decent film. When everything else the streaming giant has crafted has been critically lauded (House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black, Daredevil), surely their magic would rub off on Sandler?
No. No it did no. I don’t know what offended me more, the blatant racism or the fact that Chris Parnell being propelled back by a donkey with its diarrhoea is considered comedy. By about an hour into the film’s stretched out running time, I switched the film off with one thought dominating my mind: why is Adam Sandler still making films?
It’s not like Sandler isn’t capable of being funny. Billy Madison, his film debut, is one of my go to films whenever I want to watch something that can get a few laughs out of me and the likes of Happy Gilmore are undeniably entertaining. We all thought his SNL career and early films showcased an actor, full of potential that was capable of dominating the genre.
How wrong we all were. What he has left is a shit stain on a hotel towel than a mark on comedy that could inspire a new generation of comedians (and god help anyone who looks up to the likes of Grown Ups as something to aspire to).
Since it’s been established that Sandler was once funny, where’s the proof that he’s a despicable comedian? Unfortunately the evidence is abundant and disheartening for anyone who enjoyed his work from the get go. The most obvious one is the critical panning his movies have received. Whilst Metacritic might not be the most reliable of review sites, its aggregate is accurate for this sort of situation and to make it more fair, we’ll use the film Superbad as a comparison.
Why? Full of young actors bursting with potential, who have since went onto have amazing careers, and gross out humour as well as plenty of laughs, it is comparable to Adam Sandler’s first couple of films on these merits alone. And if Sandler wasn’t all that bad, surely the critics would at least put it on par or close enough to the likes of Greg Mottola’s comedy epic. SURELY?
Yup, even when his last three films are added together, Sandler still isn’t up to scratch. He was also producer on all the films above so its not down to him doing the best of what he’s given, he actually has some impact on what happens yet thinks his stereotype reliant humour is what viewers want. Every film just follows the same trodden formula and whilst the same could be said about Billy Madison, it was at least entertaining and felt like it had some heart.
Even though fans face disappointment after disappointment, they still flock out to see if this will be the film that will turn it around, just like Sonic and Muse fans. No matter how awful they are, people will still go and with Sandler signing a four movie deal with Netflix, his pockets are going to be overflowing. He knows this and he doesn’t care.
And that’s where the problem lies: he doesn’t care. Sandler’s films have the minimum amount of effort put into them as possible and regardless if the film fails to make back its budget, which they never do, the constant advertisements mean that Sandler and co. priorities are simple: money first, public opinion last. These films aren’t made to entertain, they’re made to promote products to you for an hour and a half, any laughs are just unintentional.
So what can we do? Nothing. We can stop seeing his films in the slight chance he’ll catch on and adapt but we know that won’t be the case. I know I can’t do anything. Sandler is hardly gonna see my pathetic site and just shut down his entire company, especially when much more prolific reviewers like Red Letter Media have called him out for what he is.
A husk. And that’s the sad truth.
Big love, Liam x