The Ridiculous 6, 2015.
Directed by Frank Coraci.
Starring Adam Sandler, Will Forte, Taylor Lautner, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, Terry Crews, Luke Wilson, Nick Nolte, Rob Schneider and Jorge Garcia.
When his outlaw dad is kidnapped, Tommy “White Knife” Stockburn sets off across the West on a rescue mission with five brothers he never knew he had.
Adam Sandler was once box office dynamite. Throughout the late 90’s and well into the new century, he had hit after hit. The films ranged in quality from poor, to average (but affable) to the occasional surprisingly good film like The Wedding Singer. In his 20’s and 30’s, Sandler got by on goofball, easygoing charm and little else. The comedy was less reliant on wit and more on tapping into an immature part of his audience who laugh at the crudest and simple toilet humour and prat falls. However with every passing year, at a time that Sandler should be maturing, his popularity in cinemas has sunk. Take away the surprisingly successful Grown Ups franchise and his animated entries, and he struggles to fill multiplexes now. So it’s no surprise that Sandler has found himself signing a deal with Netflix to make his next four films as exclusives to the service. The first of these has arrived.
The Ridiculous 6 made headlines a few months back when it was revealed that some of the Native American locals who were given roles in the film as extras, had walked off set in protest at the apparent racist and ignorant nature of the script (co-written by Sandler). Now Sandler has never exactly been known for taste, and whilst his humour isn’t overtly set out to be deliberately provocative, the fact is that some of his films have suffered from painfully unfunny and crudely outdated stereotypes. Subtlety isn’t exactly something he’s known for. So is the ridiculous 6 offensive? Well certainly there are some appalling cases of stereotyping, but all that aside the most offensive aspect of the film is the fact it’s an insult to cinema.
Sandler doesn’t seem too concerned these days with making much effort in making decent films. He doesn’t appear to want to push himself as an actor. He doesn’t appear to want to write new jokes or change his style of humour. Films like Grown Ups where Sandler will turn up with his mates for a holiday on the flimsiest of premises. That at least brought success, but then you have a string of failures around that, including the recent dud, Pixels.
The Ridiculous 6 isn’t on a par with Sandler’s recent mediocrity, it’s a film so devoid of humour, so devoid of intelligence and so devoid of any sort of comical inspiration, that it ranks as possibly his worst. Any Sandler completists who might have seen one of his earlier works, Going Overboard, which is occasionally seen in Pound Shops will recall how atrocious that was. An amateurish and sloppy film that whilst hideous at least had a weird kind of energy courtesy of a youthful and exuberant Sandler. The Ridiculous 6 doesn’t even have that.
Sandler plays White Knife, a white boy raised by Indians. His real father comes back into town and…and well…even recounting the “plot” gives me a headache so I’ll forgo even trying to explain what the film is apparently about. Needless to say it’s nothing more than an excuse to fit in it’s numerous (wasted) cameos and an array of moronic diarrhoea gags and racist and misogynistic puns (a woman is referred to as Poca-Hot-tits).
Sandler spends the vast majority of the film half asleep. Everyone, including Rob Schneider (groan), Taylor Lautner, Owen Wilson and Terry Crews are painfully unfunny. For some, like Schneider, that’s just a given but for someone like Crews who can be very funny and very charismatic, it’s a shame. In fact the films best performance comes from a brief cameo by Vanilla Ice…Vanilla Ice!! He’s the funniest person in the film…Vanilla Ice!!! Make of that what you will. Elsewhere, Nick Nolte appears and just seems completely out of his head (as per normal these days).
The Ridiculous 6 should be stricken from history. It’s utterly inane and perhaps the most half assed film ever made. The indifference and total lack of effort is shocking. One would hope that Netflix will produce better with the next three films from Sandler but that said, Sandler really needs to pull his finger out. For someone who produced the delightful Wedding Singer, or showed off a surprisingly complex side in Punch Drunk Love, he really needs revitalise his career and his ambition.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★