Once in a while after appreciating quality cinema, I have to step down a bit and remember that the bad exists. Adam Sandler is an easy punching bag for critical mauling and while I wouldn’t say he’s the absolute lowest point, it’s rather easy to see why. It’s such a shame, really, because we know that he can actually act as films like Paul Thomas Anderson’s brilliant Punch-Drunk Love have proven (I’d even say he should have been an easy contender for an Oscar in that performance) yet the worst part is, he just never tries. Rather recently, he took part in a four-picture deal with Netflix and after having churned out the horrendously offensive Ridiculous 6, did he manage to provide something worse? The sad answer is, yes, he did.
After trying to make it through an hour of practically no effort to even flesh anything out, it’s quite amazing how the film decides it wants to sustain its audience. Yet before going into there, a quick summary of what The Do-Overestablished will come by. What it established is that Adam Sandler’s character is a more sociopathic version of Ferris Bueller, in which Bueller was a manipulative friend who takes his girlfriend and best friend out for a day to relax to himself. Yet where I do like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in a sense comes from a message about trying to break away from the mundane once in a while. The Do-Over has nothing, and instead just gets only one point across – people like Sandler’s character are the type of people whom we should avoid hanging around.
In order to excuse how nothing much is really happening, Sandler goes down to some of his most offensive work yet. Though it may not be nearly as damaging as the utterly reprehensible That’s My Boy, it is every bit as tasteless. Where That’s My Boy greatly suffers comes in regards to its R rating, because all that really grants it the R rating is how crass it appears to be in order to get reactions from the audience – some of the absolute lowest to which comedy can sink down to. In the case of The Do-Over, it is so clear that it is desperate for an R rating so it tries to shove in as much as it can in order to earn said rating, whether it come from needless swearing or gratuitous nudity/sex scenes, none of which add much to the film either.
Now the point to which at least something of establishment is coming about is where I take offense. Where I take offense is how after an hour of having no plot and establishing Sandler and Spade’s characters as absolutely detestable figures,The Do-Over suddenly decides what it’s about. When it decides what it’s about, it turns into a film about finding a cure for cancer, to which I only rolled my eyes even more. When that plot point came in, it only were going on to remind me of how such a serious issue is so poorly handled. As I may have made clear, My Sister’s Keeper is my least favourite film of all time, for how it only portrays cancer as a tool for emotional manipulation without attempting to flesh out the characters. While not nearly as detestable in its handling of cancer, The Do-Over‘s manners of bringing it up only made me angry because it just comes out of nowhere and it does not mix in well with all the crass attempts at humour which we had been left with all this time.
This is not Adam Sandler’s worst film, but it certainly is one of his most offensive yet. I would probably be writing up much more, but we already know the drill when a new Adam Sandler film comes by. What is truly a film full of absolutely nothing except crass humour and poorly staged action sequences, resorts to a plot twist so highly offensive and utterly stupid and everything gets much worse from there. Part of me just wants Sandler to act within another role that allows him to show his capabilities in the manner that Punch-Drunk Love did, but he just offers the same thing over and over again. The Do-Over is an utterly stupid film in every regard, one that should simply be avoided at all costs.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Netflix.
Directed by Steven Brill
Screenplay by Kevin Barnett, Chris Pappas
Produced by Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, Kevin Grady, Ted Sarandos
Starring Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 108 minutes