Adam Sandler may not be funny, but give him credit; he is one heck of a businessman.
“The Ridiculous Six” is the first of Sandler’s four film deal with Netflix (because he wised up and realized people have gotten too smart to pay theatrical price for his “comedies”). The film stars Sandler, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, and Luke Wilson as half-brothers who must set out to rescue their father (Nick Nolte) in the Wild West. Frank Coraci directs.
I personally gave up on Sandler long ago, and I was never a huge fan in the first place. I think he is great in films that he doesn’t write/produce (like the underappreciated “Funny People”), but all too often (aka always) he phones in his performances and instead just delivers an unfunny film as an excuse to go on vacation with his friends. Clearly Sandler realized audiences were wising up to his act and decided to strike up a deal with Netflix (which, why, Netflix? You’re doing so well…), where his films cannot be judged off their lack of box office success. But maybe not having the stress of the box office would make Sandler try, and maybe being with director Frank Coraci, who directed Sandler’s arguable best film, “The Wedding Singer,” would be the kick-in-the-butt he needed. Yeah. And maybe Donald Trump isn’t insane.
I went into this movie thinking it was going to be a bad, lazy, sexist, racist, unfunny Adam Sandler film, and lo and behold, I was right. But there is just something about “Ridiculous Six” that seems even worse. It is somehow worse than his film from earlier in 2015, “Pixels,” and arguably the worst film of his career (it is without a doubt his worst performance).
I guess I’ll break this film down by what it is and what it isn’t. First: in true Sandler fashion, it is lazy. You want an example of one of the jokes? A donkey projectile poops against a wall for five seconds. Now if you thought that wasn’t funny the first time, you’re going to stare in amazement at the next four occurrences. No joke, I was leaning over to say something to my friend (who had the misfortune of watching this alongside me) and the first time the donkey did its thing I genuinely exclaimed, “what the [expletive] was that!?” Not because I was frightened by a jump scare, but because it is so random and so juvenile that its mere existence took my inner-being by surprise.
The film is also racist and sexist, per ush. There are plenty of Native American “jokes” sprinkled throughout the film (and I don’t put jokes in quotes because they’re tasteless and I’m being PC; I put it in quotes because they never show anything resembling an attempt to be funny). There are also black and Mexican jokes galore; Rob Schneider plays a Hispanic man who wears a sombrero the entire film. Get it? Because he’s Mexican? And they ride donkeys and have sombreros? HA!
There’s then a scene where the Six come across Abner Doubleday (John Turturro) as he is inventing baseball (the film’s only scene of merit, as it pokes fun at some of the sport’s sillier rules). However, and I kid you not, in the moment leading up to the scene I turned to my friend and said, “well I mean the Natives and Hispanics are getting hit pretty hard, but at least Sandler is leaving the Asians alone.” I jinxed it. Because mere moments later, the men come across Doubleday talking to a group of Asian men, all wearing stereotypical Asian headwear, and I let out a long sigh and “offff course.”
Then there’s the classic Sandler trope that God-forbid any female character impacts the plot. Also may Hell freeze over if any woman has ANYTHING to offer besides her cleavage. The one woman character who has the benefit of being more than a flesh trophy is captured and escapes in the same scene, begging the question why the scene exists, and then only returns to become a damsel in distress in the film’s climax.
And the editing in this film, oh my God. Some scenes just draw on forever (did I mention this film is two hours long?). My only theory is the film made it through the first cut of edits and the editor quit because he could not in good conscience watch any more of this film, much less take part in sending something out into the internet that would be seen by millions of innocent, underserving civilians.
I’ll give the film a pat on the back, at least it is…watchable? Like it isn’t “Fantastic Four” bad where I was squirming in my seat and needed the film to be over. I was having a good enough time making fun of it, and I did laugh maybe three times, albeit I instantly felt guilty for doing so.
Here’s the bottom line about “The Ridiculous Six,” besides “don’t watch it.” It is just another and yet somehow worse Adam Sandler film, and further proof he does not care about you or any another movie-lover. He only cares about getting richer and hanging out with his friends, and for that he is a brilliant and ruthless businessman. It will be interesting to see if Netflix honors the remaining three films on Sandler’s contract, because I cannot see a single person itching to see anymore Sandler anytime soon.
Critics Rating: 2/10