Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Ridiculous 6 Review

The Ridiculous 6
Dir. Frank Coraci
Starring: Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Rob Schneider, Taylor Lautner, Danny Trejo, Nick Nolte, Harvey Kietel

Raised by Indians, White Knife (Sandler) meets his absentee father (Nolte), only to witness him be kidnapped and held for ransom. While attempting to raise money to get his release, White Knife gains allies in his newly met half-brothers.

The Ridiculous 6 is the first of a 4 film deal that Adam Sandler’s production company is releasing through Netflix. When I originally heard about this I kind of feared for the worse. Other than some of his more dramatic films like Punch Drunk Love or Funny People, I had gotten tired of his same old routine that he had been doing in all of his comedies, meaning him getting angry and screaming all the time. And when I saw the trailer for this film my first thought was, to quote Sandler in the film Billy Madison, “Here’s a nice piece of shit!” But the film kind of surprised me by being kind of good. The things that most identify it as being a typical Adam Sandler movie is that Rob Schneider shows up 20 minutes into the movie and there’s a running joke involving a donkey having diarrhea. But Sandler plays the movie straight, with his character being more of a silent tough guy type, and by doing this the other supporting characters carry most of the comedy in the movie, and each one of the 6 each gets moments to shine. Even Taylor Launter, who I thought was about as exciting as a block of wood in the one Twilight movie that I had to sit through. But in this he is kind of amusing and charming as the dumb brother, and his cantaloupe line was my favorite line in the film.

The least surprising thing about the movie is that Terry Crews is good in it, which is because he is good in everything. He seems like he's really enjoying his role, and he brings some fun to the movie when he is onscreen. He has a great screen presence, and he has shown that he is just as good in supporting comedic roles as he is in action or dramatic roles. I would really like to see him in a leading role in an action film with a tone like Big Trouble in Little China or The Rundown. Don’t know if that will ever happen, but for now I will continue to enjoy seeing him on Brooklyn Nine-Nine every week.

One other performance that I wanted to call out is Vanilla Ice playing Mark Twain. When I saw that I expected to hate it, but the part is weird, with all of Twain’s dialogue being odd and anachronistic, with him doing some hip hop dancing and spouting dialogue like “word up”, “drop me a beat”, and his description of his new book:
It’s about Tom Saywer’s home slice Huckleberry Finn. White guy does rafting with a brother. People going to lose their shit!
It’s something that I went into the movie that I expected to hate, but it was the right about of weird that I ended up loving it.  He does come out of the movie looking better than Blake Shelton** does as Wyatt Earp, so there’s that too.

There’s a gag on the title screen where it boasts that the film is “Presented in 4K”, which is timely due to the Hateful 8’s 70mm release. The film was shot by Dean Semler, who also shot the Young Guns films, and the film feels more like a grand theatrical western rather than a parody. The movie has a great look to it, and it would probably look great on a theater screen, so it is kind of sad that this film is debuting on Netflix and film be primarily viewed on tablets and phones*.

The biggest problems with the movie is that it should probably be 15 to 20 minutes shorter. Trimming a couple of bits would help the pacing a bit, and while the scene Abner Doubleday (John Turturro) randomly creates the rules of baseball as they are playing the first game is funny, it doesn’t really do anything to advance the plot. It seems like the perfect thing for an extended version of the movie or a deleted scene for the eventual dvd/blu-ray release of the film. But it is a funny, if predictable scene.
Another problem is that Danny Trejo is in the film too briefly, and he doesn’t get too much to do from a humor standpoint, which is disappointing. Keitel and Nolte get to be funny though.

To be perfectly honest, this is a movie that I went into expecting to be bad. But I was a bit surprised by it. It wasn’t awful. I am not saying that it's some classic, but it was fun for 2 hours. The supporting cast carries the movie. It looks pretty nice. It’s worth watching since you’re already paying for a Netflix subscription.

*I watched it on my television through my Xbox 360. I don’t understand how anyone could watch a movie on a phone. It just seems wrong.

**He’s not awful, just not great. He’s outclassed by all the comedians that he shares his scenes with.

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