Adam Sandler is an living, breathing enigma. He started as a young, fairly entertaining comedian on Saturday Night Live who eventually put out a couple of fairly entertaining movies. Since then has put out one painfully awful film after another. A quick gander at his embarrassingly bad filmography should leave you wondering how this guy is still making movies. Here is why he is an enigma – his movies make a lot of money. People go see his stuff and many find it funny. That is a mystery I may never be able to crack.
Sandler’s latest is the western spoof “The Ridiculous 6” and you have to give the guy this – he’s consistent. This has every bit of the stupidity, annoyances, and laziness identified with Sandler’s previous ‘comedies’. The Wild West offers a new setting but Sandler and company do nothing more than stain it with their brand of asininity. I only managed a few grins in this entire dopey and overly long slog.
Sandler plays Tommy who has been raised by the Apache after the murder of his mother. Tommy is given the name “White Knife” and is set to marry Smoking Fox (Julia Jones). A man named Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte) arrives at the village claiming to be Tommy’s father. He reveals he is terminally ill and that he has $50,000 buried nearby. He wants Tommy and his village to have the money but before they can dig it up bandits arrive and take Frank away because of an outstanding debt. Tommy can’t find the buried loot so he sets out t0 swipe $50,000 in order to save his father.
Along the way Tommy finds that his father has been….active. He meets five different men claiming that Frank Stockburn is the father they have never met. They each join Tommy in his absurd quest to find enough money to pay off his father’s captives. Of course each have their on goofy quirk. Rob Schneider plays a Mexican with a gassy burro (it’s just as offensive as it sounds). Taylor Lautner is a village idiot with a strong neck. Terry Crews is a piano player who hides that he is black. Jorge Garcia is a hairy mute wildman. Luke Wilson is a guilt-ridden boozer.
Then there is the laundry list of cameos and brief appearances which Sandler movies are known for. Harvey Keitel, Jon Lovitz, Blake Shelton, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Will Forte, Vanilla Ice, Chris Kattan, and John Turturro to name a few. Occasionally one of these will offer a mildly amusing moment, but most are just wedged in as a recognizable face. Why some of these guys signed on for such dumb roles and lame material is beyond me.
“The Ridiculous 6” is supposedly a satire of the western genre and all of the formulas and stereotypes they often used. I tend to give movies a lot of leeway and feel some people are often too easily offended. But this film doesn’t have the smarts to sell itself as convincing satire and it’s no wonder some have viewed the characterizations as offensive. When material is this poor it’s hard to accept it as good satire.
Ultimately “The Ridiculous 6” is more of the same from a guy perfectly content with delivering cheap overused gags and the same boring, unfunny formulas. I suppose Sandler is happy cashing the big checks and as long as people still flock to these things I don’t see him challenging himself or changing directions. So we can expect more films like “The Ridiculous 6” – juvenile, aimless, and consistently idiotic wastes of time. Lucky us.
VERDICT – 1.5 STARS