The Ridiculous 6 Dec 14, 2015 23:45:43 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Dec 14, 2015 23:45:43 GMT -5
The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Adam Sandler in The Ridiculous 6.
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Adam Sandler in The Ridiculous 6.
Adam Sandler, in the last five years, give or take, has become one of the most divisive names in cinema; the name either inspires nostalgic thoughts of belly laughs from previous years, be it from Sandler's early films or his Saturday Night Live skits, or it inspires groans and remarks of unusually mean-spirited proportions. With the first half of this new decade down, he has given us Jack and Jill, Pixels, That's My Boy, Just Go With It, and Grown Ups 2, some of the most critically panned pictures.
With that, Sandler has become something of a risky box office commodity for Hollywood; while he does indeed make studios money, he attracts a lot of negative press. Because of this it's understandable why, in addition to the touchy subject matter in an exhaustively politically correct society, Sandler's latest picture, The Ridiculous 6, endured a rather low-key release on Netflix's Watch Instantly platform rather than a heavily marketed release in over 2,000 theaters across America. Netflix has signed a four-movie deal with Sandler, but after The Ridiculous 6's incomparably negative reactions from critics and audiences forced the streaming company to minimize its prominence on the film's site, I assume the forthcoming three pictures will be released to the public with a lot more four-letter words mumbled under CEO Reed Hastings' breath as he cuts his losses and moves forward accordingly.
The Ridiculous 6 is an atrocious film, but atrocious in an unsurprising way, frankly. It's a satire on American Westerns, which, in the present, need to look to Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West as some kind of contemporary benchmark of quality, something that says a lot in itself. The film is a tireless array of physical sight gags and grossout comedy helmed by some huge names in the industry ostensibly doing their best to be the most insufferable screen presences of the year.
The film revolves around the nonchalant Tommy "White Knife" Stockburn (Adam Sandler in a character boasting less personality than his character in Pixels, who has found himself caught in the center of vicious gangs due to his engagement to a Native woman. Tommy believes he is just a simple orphan, until he meets a bank robber named Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte), who claims he is Tommy's biological father and that his mother was shot by a man with tattoos on his hand when he was a young boy. Frank also reveals to Tommy that he has $50,000 buried in the middle of a field before he is kidnapped by Cicero (Danny Trejo) and held for the hefty ransom.
In efforts to rescue his husband, Tommy discovers he also has five half brothers: they are a Mexican donkey-rider named Ramon (Rob Schneider in his ongoing streak of never playing a tolerable character), a giddy, mentally-retarded man named Lil' Pete (Taylor Lautner), the large and feral Herm (Jorge Garcia), a black pianist named Chico (Terry Crews), and Danny (Luke Wilson), Abraham Lincoln's bodyguard who failed to protect him from no one else but John Wilkes Booth. Together, the gang form "The Ridiculous 6," a bumbling but well-meaning sextet that attempts to find their father all while avoiding dangers such as rebel gangs, Wyatt Earp's (country singer Blake Shelton) sharp-shooting skills, and "Injuns."
It seems that both Sandler and Tim Herlihy, the screenwriting duo on this project, concocted a list of the most intolerable attributes they could include in a film and haphazardly sewed a film together conjoining those scenes which produced little in the way of a plot. The way The Ridiculous 6 just wears on a helpless viewer, beating them down with sterile comedic setups, characters that are simultaneously underwritten and overdone, and acting from nearly everyone involved that just tries too hard to resonate in a humorous way, is depressing. The strongest actor in the film, playing the most consistently funny and likable character, is Vanilla Ice, who plays Mark Twain in the film's sole good scene involving a staged robbery by the six before Twain, Earp, and a few others.
The problem with Western satires is that most of the material is well-charted ground by now: how many more times can we see the eclectic and specific names of Native Americans made fun of, the fact that bumbling white people are uncultured and stole the land from the Natives, or the invention of popular conventions such as baseball that we know today? Slam MacFarlane's admittedly mediocre attempt to revitalize the genre, but he at least came with a thesis of showing how miserable and inconvenient life in the West would've been. Sandler just brings his brand of mindless stupidity to a different setting and turns recognizable faces (most notably Taylor Lautner, who is just unbelievably bad and unfunny here) and talented actors into the most unlikable cast of buffoons I've seen this year.
Give Sandler credit in that he, at the very least, didn't make us pay any extra, leave our homes, or put on pants to see a film that's really not even good enough for a direct-to-Comedy-Central release. The Ridiculous 6, which also parodies The Magnificent Seven, though, because of timing, seems to ride the coattails of Quentin Tarantino's forthcoming Hateful Eight, is an abysmal comedic affair, and that, above all, given Sandler's recent string of films and the dumping of his next four films on Netflix, is the most unsurprising thing about this entire mess of a film.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner, Terry Crews, Luke Wilson, Nick Nolte, Steve Zahn, Danny Trejo, Vanilla Ice, Blake Shelton, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Will Forte, Chris Kattan, and Harvey Keitel. Directed by: Frank Coraci.