Friday, January 8, 2016

The Ridiculous Six Review

Netflix has been cranking out original material for a while now. They've produced and distributed their own television series a season at a time for subscribers to binge watch all at once. Most of them have been critically well received. Just recently Netflix released a movie also exclusively on their streaming service. The Ridiculous Six (2015) is an Adam Sandler movie, so it didn't perk my interest until I saw a headline stating that "Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous Six' Is Making History for Netflix." That article made me think I should check it out. I now wish that I hadn't bothered.
In the Old West era, a calm man named Tommy Stockburn (Sandler) is raised by Native Americans, where he is named "White Knife", due to his tendency to use knives. He is soon going to marry his fiancé, Smoking Fox (Julia Jones). As the wedding day nears, Tommy is approached by his long lost father (Nick Nolte) who tells Tommy that he needs $50,000 or he'll die at the hands of his former gang. Tommy sets out on an ridiculous journey to find the money to save his biological father discovering on the way that his promiscuous father has fathered five half brothers each with different mothers. Wanting to help save their father, Tommy is joined by Chico (Terry Crews), Herm (Jorge Garcia), Lil' Pete (Taylor Lautner), Ramon (Rob Schneider), and Danny (Luke Wilson) all of whom have nothing in common other than a similar biological father. The six brothers become an outlaw gang called The Ridiculous Six, stealing money from other outlaws as they race against time to save dear old dad.
I am of the opinion that Adam Sandler has never made a good movie, and has relied almost exclusively on asinine, juvenile gags that primarily appeal to young teenage boys who themselves have incredibly juvenile sensibilities. If you have matured beyond the level of thirteen-year-old boy I can't imagine any Adam Sandler movie appealing to you at all.
Having said that, The Ridiculous Six is breaking Netflix records for watched movies. There is virtually an all star cast, some of whom are decent actors and comedians. The trailer made the movie look like it had potential. I'd been hearing from some outlets that "The Ridiculous Six was the most-watched Netflix title in history." The specific article I mentioned above said that this was erroneous reporting and clarified that the case was actually that "it’s the most streams ever in 30 days of release." That makes a lot more sense because this movie was absolutely terrible. Apparently, all of the thirteen-year-old boys from around the territories Netfix operates in are responsible for this statistic that was later so misconstrued.
The Ridiculous Six is considered a slapstick western comedy. Well, it certainly was a western, but it was too insultingly immature, tasteless, and stupid to be considered a comedy. I didn't crack a smile once during the entire two hour movie and kept looking at the remaining run time to see how much more of this drivel I had to endure. I tend not to like modern comedy films since they tend to mistake loud, annoying, and bombastic characters for funny characters and confuse crude jokes and innuendos for humor. The Ridiculous Six is a classic example of why I don't care for modern comedies. It lacks wit, comedic timing, irony, or even witty wordplay. More often than not, punch lines involve a donkey having explosive diarrhea, a middle aged woman mentioning the various places in a room that she has had sex, or onlookers misinterpreting something as fellatio. Granted, in the hands of someone who is actually funny, such scenarios could be delivered in such a way that could be witty enough to be humorous. Incidentally, this is Adam Sandler's writing and he has yet to prove to me he has ever had comedic talent at any point in his career.
There are a number of actors in The Ridiculous Six who have been in comedies that I enjoyed. There's a fairly solid cast here, including Steve Zahn, Danny Trejo, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, and Jon Lovitz to name a few. American rapper "Vanilla Ice" even appears for a small role as Mark Twain which is just as cringe worthy a thing as you might imagine. Interestingly, Adam Sandler isn't the usual loud, annoying, and bombastic character he usually plays. He's counter- typecast as a straight man and allows everyone else to deliver the funny material (such as it is). Sandler's lack of flailing around in a vain attempt to convince us he's funny makes this the best Adam Sandler movie I've seen to date. Furthermore, I've only seen Taylor Lautner in the Twilight film series where he (and everyone else) was just terrible. He's again counter-typecast here as a loud, obnoxious, halfwit hillbilly which wasn't nearly as irritating as his Twilight role. So, this is the best Taylor Lautner movie I've ever seen, too. That's not saying much, since The Ridiculous Six received a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even Battlefield Earth, considered one of the worst movies of all time, got 3%.
I feel entertainment press manipulated me into watching The Ridiculous Six through misrepresenting statistics and facts about it. It's yet another markedly not-funny movie from Adam Sandler. It's every bit as lazily offensive as its cast and concept would suggest. The writing was bad. The acting was decent for what it was, including some noteworthy counter-typecasting. This comedy movie was completely devoid of humor; the jokes are often juvenile and gross, unsophisticated and insensitive. I am of the opinion that juvenility, grossness, or insensitivity shouldn't by any means be outright removed from the comic tool kit; the way these comic tools are used here just isn't good at all. This movie just isn't good by any metric. The Ridiculous Six is standard couch fare for Adam Sandler fanatics and must-avoid viewing for film enthusiasts of every other persuasion.

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