The Do-Over (2016) May 30, 2016 21:42:38 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on May 30, 2016 21:42:38 GMT -5
The Do-Over (2016)
Directed by: Steven Brill
Directed by: Steven Brill
Adam Sandler and David Spade.
The Do-Over, the second of a four film-deal Adam Sandler struck with Netflix back in 2014, proves what I've long-thought about Sandler movies and that is the fact that when they're provided with some sort of narrative form and structure, even Sandler's love for gross-out humor can sometimes be tolerated. When Sandler films actually bear some kind of plot and situations for the characters that prompts the audience to care about their wellbeing, rather than being a formless mess of crude humor, they can actually be quite funny and memorable. For better case examples than the one I'm about to discuss, recall 50 First Dates, Click, Big Daddy, and Blended, if you even bothered with that one.
The film largely revolves around Charlie (David Spade), who realizes at his high school reunion that as he's entering middle-age, he's still the same person he was in high school. He drives the same car, he married the prom queen who doesn't even care about him, and he manages a bank inside of a Save & Pay Supermarket, the same place he worked between classes. At his reunion, he runs into his old friend Max (nicknamed "Maxi-Pad," played by Sandler), who claims to be a coroner and encourages Charlie to leave his life behind and embrace a new, more lavish one.
Charlie goes to spend a weekend on Max's yacht, but after drugging Charlie, Max winds up blowing up the yacht and gets the two of them back to his lakehouse. When Charlie wakes up, Max informs him that he managed to faked their deaths, using bodies he got at the morgue to serve as their remains. The two can now officially start life anew, with Charlie assuming the identity of "Dr. Ronald P. Fishman" and Max "Butch Ryder." Charlie is initially disgusted, but upon returning home and seeing his quickly his wife and children get over his alleged death and his possessions are sold, Charlie decides to embrace a second life with Max.
The two relocate to Puerto Rico only to realize that the bodies that Max, who turns out not to be a coroner but a guidance counselor, stole were victims of a shooting death that were involved in illegal activities. After they are nearly killed by hitmen who ostensibly have ties with the real Fishman and Ryder, they track down Fisherman's wife Heather (Paula Patton) in efforts to try and find out what exactly the two men did and how they can get out of their current situation.
The Do-Over is no different than past Sandler projects in that it still keeps the same gross-out, lewd humor throughout. It's actually more reminiscent of the wildly unfunny That's My Boy in that this is one of the few times Sandler embraces a raunchy, R-rated formula in contrast of his past films that usually embrace a moderate-to-hard PG-13 rating. This is a more commendable feat than most would think, for at least Sandler and Spade can both go all the way in terms of making a film that's crass and explicit rather than trying to keep the film acceptable for the prepubescent crowd.
For the most part, the humor in the film is standard-fare, but the only difference is the humor is contained inside a plot whereas many recent Sandler endeavors, most notably his first Netflix-exclusive film, the awful Ridiculous 6 and other recent efforts like Grown Ups 2 and Just Go With It, felt like the film contained nothing but jokes. There was no kind of narrative cohesion to note nor any characters to sympathize with. The Do-Over at least shows that Sandler and company are trying to make a film that has a story to it, while including the Happy Madison blend of humor.
And to its credit, it actually succeeds in some respects. The film, whether it is consistently funny or not, is still fiercely watchable and entertaining, with a lot of energetic comic spirit from Sandler and Spade. There's still a lot of the same old Sandler conventions to dislike, but they're not always in such noticeable amounts. Spade actually winds up bringing a great deal to the film in the respect of being a fun comic presence, whereas Sandler's character feels like he constantly moves at one-hundred miles per hour. This doesn't give The Do-Over the same kind of comedic inertness of other Sandler projects. Most of the time, again, particularly in The Ridiculous 6, Sandler and company seemed to think they could just show up on set in costume and inspire laughs from the way they looked instant of because of their comedic talent.
The Do-Over may not be totally exempted from the same kind of Happy Madison conventions and drudgery we've endured over the past years, yet it doesn't inspire the same kind of groans and eye-rolls nor the sheer level of hopelessness of his other projects. Even the Michael Chiklis cameos wind up inspiring more belly laughs than any character in a Sandler film in recent time. The film winds up being a strangely entertaining comedy that finds itself perfectly placed in the middle of the road for Sandler's filmography, and given where we've been in the past, that's a place I'll gladly be in for the time being.
Starring: Adam Sandler, David Spade, and Paula Patton. Directed by: Steven Brill.