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The Ridiculous 6: A Joke Too Far
The Ridiculous 6 is Adam Sandler’s first of four films made for Netflix. The film has its moment where it’s genially funny but it mostly falls short, much like Sandler’s recent attempts. The films plot stumble as well that you may be generous if it make it past half way mark and if you do make it to the end you will at least be treated to a decently entertaining final forty-five minutes but never enough to fully redeem itself.
A joke to far, can perhaps best describe the reason for the failings and just plain poor quality of Adam Sandler’s recent films, but also, and has turn out to be an unfortunate trademark of the legendary comedians many films. Now, I don’t mean that a joke is pushed too far by being offensive or just in poor taste, but where a joke is pushed unintentionally beyond its laughing point almost in an attempt to make sure you’re getting the laugh rather than the right amount or kind of laughter. Like I said, this has become a trademark of Sandler comedies and worked quite well in his classics Billy Madison (1995) and Happy Gilmore (1996) along with his main trademark of the goof ball comedy. Both films in a serous filmmakers analysis, should not work, should have been flops and been heralded as just plain horrible and unfunny stains on cinema as a hole. (To quote from the climatic scene of Billy Madison, “A simple no, would have sufficed.”)
Somehow, those movies are good; they’re extremely funny, work in spite of themselves and have become classics in pop culture. I love them and watch them every time they’re on because; there is just something about them. A clown violently hitting his head on cement after a fall and dyeing at a party, then some how coming back to life, in order to randomly appears in a just as random musical sequence, should not be funny. But it some how is one of the funniest things, I’ve ever seen.
Those two movies are orphans among his other good films, Big Daddy, The Wedding Singer, Click or 50 First Dates, which are still goof ball comedies but found the right distance a joke needed to go as well as the right amount of hart to care about the lead characters. His other films that have pushed beyond that thresh hold have succeeded at the box office in spite of themselves such as Little Nicky (2000), Mr. Deeds (2002) or Jack and Jill (2011) and in recent years he’s had several big flop, including this years tent pole picture, Pixels. It’s almost as if he’s been attempting to duplicate the success of the past but those had a special quality that perhaps happened upon rather than achieved though simple carbon copy duplication. Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore aren’t his only films that get away with this, The Waterboy (1998) and films he’s just been producer on like Joe Dirt (2001) or Grandmas Boy (2006).
Ridiculous 6, resides with the likes of Jack and Jill though it does appear to try hard at being good. The film follows Tommy (played by Sandler) who was raised by Native Americans after the murder of his mother. Tommy then meets his criminal father, who is kidnapped by his former gang to get to the Fifty thousand dollars from his final big heist. Along the first part of his journey he is joined by five half brothers that help him steal the money to buy off his fathers kidnapers. The film does have funny jokes in it but does at time take a joke to far. There is a running gag with a donkey bowl movements, where the donkey goes straight to explosive diarrhea rather than gradually working their way up to joke like in Dumb and Dumber or just keeping it simple with just a passing gas joke.
The film does have a serviceable plot, which would have benefited from bringing in an outside writer with a fresh view to wrangle in the problem points. Sandler collaborated with the writer of many of his films and fellow Saturday Night Live writer Tim Herlihy. Literally, one rewrite, by one outsider could have helped this film, which should have been apparent the filmmakers prior to it being produced. This film as rejected by Sony who normally distributes Sandler’s films, and then by Paramount. Basically, this film was sitting around and “ready to go” when the Netflix deal came about.
The Ridiculous 6 Trailer
The biggest problem The Ridiculous 6, is with the first half of the film where Sandler’s character is randomly happening upon his half brothers. At times, it simply slows down the film and doesn’t do enough to warrant your attention. The film does become better after the hour mark, though I was tempted to turn it off prior to this point. The films climax is also well done and would say it’s one of the better endings to a western I’ve ever seen but the film that precedes it diminishes the ending as a whole.
The Ridiculous 6 stars Taylor Lautner, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Rob Schneider and Luke Wilson along with Adam Sandler in the lead. Also appearing in the film are Sandler regulars John Turturro, David Spade and Steve Buscemi. In supporting roles are Nick Nolte, Danny Trejo, Harvey Keitel, Vanilla Ice, Will Forte, Steve Zahn and Julia Jones. Frank Coraci directed this film, which like the films writer is a regular collaborator of Sandler and directed Click. I would give the film D+ and it does have its moments but it’s really just another Adam Sandler misstep, stumble, then fall and at most the film will go down as being one of the films that usher in the future of major film releases. The film is avilable on Netfix.