It’s become obvious that when you see Adam Sandler’s name attached to a project, you know exactly what you are going to get. The first of a four picture deal that Sandler has signed with Netflix is now available for viewing, and it contains everything you knew it would. ‘The Ridiculous 6’ is Sandler’s attempt at a western comedy, and it’s a failing attempt, which is a little bit of a disappointment because he fills the screen with an amazing ensemble of comedic talent.
The screenplay, written by Adam Sandler and Tom Herlihy and directed by Frank Coraci (both of whom have worked with Sandler numerous times) follows the story of a white man raised by Indians named White Knife, played dully by Sandler, who is suddenly reunited with his long lost father Frank Stockburn, played by Nick Nolte. Their reunion is cut short as Stockburn’s former gang shows up kidnapping him for money they feel they are owed. It is then up to White Knife to begin a journey to save his father where on the way he meets up with five very different men, also children of Stockburn. Together the six brothers follow a moronic plot to rescue the father they’ve never known.
It’s almost unbelievable how many well known actors agreed to be in this film. While some make sense, others leave you scratching your head wondering why. Sandler’s brothers are played by Rob Schneider as Ramon, Luke Wilson as Danny, Terry Crews as brother Chico, Jorge Garcia as brother Herm, and Taylor Lautner as Lil’ Pete. While Schneider and Crews seem natural quoting senseless jokes and acting so preposterous that it’s almost unsettling, Luke Wilson just seems totally miscast and unused. It’s almost as if he didn’t need to be in the film at all, or didn’t want to, and it almost shows in his acting. Taylor Lautner does a well enough job of playing a backwoods imbecile, but his jokes are so over the top and forced that you find yourself groaning not laughing. If any of the brothers actually obtained any laughs it’s Jorge Garcia as Herm, a mute who actually shows rather good comedic timing by delivering humor with nothing more than grunts and facial expressions.
Sandler himself is very dry in his performance and even looks uncomfortable in the role. Perhaps he knew exactly how bad the humor was going? Jokes from other surprise actors like Harvey Keitel, Jon Lovitz, Steve Zahan, David Spade as Custer, Vanilla Ice as a street talking Mark Twain, and many more are so over-exaggerated it’s as if they are screaming “Look at me, Look at me, I’m funny remember?” Nick Nolte seems to actually take his role a little too serious, as if he doesn’t even realize he’s in an absurd comedy. The film doesn’t feel like anyone actually tried to make a real movie. While viewing, you get the feel that a bunch of idiotic little boys got together to play cowboys and Indians, and filmed it. Of course, let’s not forget the immature jokes that always have to be repeated in Adam Sandler’s films, like a burro that literally hoses things down with feces. It’s important to the film to repeat this joke more than once.
There is one scene that will actually get some chuckles. John Turturro role as Abner Doubleday merrits the little praise from this film. As Doubleday, Turturro’s introduces a new sport to the old west, and the explaining, and changing of the rules is historically entertaining. It is Turturro alone that carries the jokes in this scene, save for one or two reactions. This scene comes too late and inefficient enough to save the entire movie.
‘The Ridiculous 6’ doesn’t hold back from letting you know what kind of film it is. From the opening scene you know you are in for a very uncomfortable time. Still, with Adam Sandler’s name on it, viewers had better know by now exactly what kind of movie this is going to be and whether or not they want to waste the time on it. The hardcore Sandler films will love this film, everyone else will be smart enough to avoid it entirely. If you do choose to take a chance at this door, you’ll question who’s dumber, the actors who agreed to be in the film, or you for watching it.