In terms of cinematic quality for his movies, Adam Sandler hasn’t exactly been Humphrey Bogart.
If you go to Sandler’s Wikipedia page, there’s a list of awards: but not good ones. In each of the last five movie years, Sandler has gotten Golden Raspberry nominations (worst picture, worst actor, worst screenplay, etc). When the Netflix-released Western comedy “The Ridiculous 6” came out in mid-December last year, most movie fans collectively groaned.
When you learn the movie’s premise, it’s easy to see why there was reason for criticism. The film follows the journey of Tommy “White Knife” Stockburn (Adam Sandler), a Native-American-raised white man who basically goes on a journey to save his father. Along the way, he meets five of his long-lost brothers, all mothered by different women and all with their own exceptionally annoying traits.
For example, Lil’ Pete (Taylor Lautner) in particular has a few of the film’s most frustratingly unfunny lines, as his character is basically a hillbilly version of Jar Jar Binks, but with more potty humor and homoerotic references. On the other hand, Herm (Jorge Garcia), who seems to be some kind of feral man, is presumably supposed to make audiences laugh at his brute-like qualities and inability to verbally communicate. It doesn’t work.
Even ignoring the plethora of offensive and cheap Native-American based jokes done through the movie- Stockburn is due to wed a woman named “Smoking Fox” and resists being seduced by another woman named “Never Wears Bra”- there are so many instances of the film’s gross-out and cringe humor that it quickly loses any kind of shock and becomes tedious to sit through. None of it is especially funny in the first place either, unless you somehow think a donkey defecating on someone is comedic genius.
Perhaps the worst joke of the movie is its portrayal of Mark Twain (Vanilla Ice), who is shown using stereotypically black lingo numerous times when introduced. It’s a horrendous cameo and by the end of it, you’ll want to suffocate yourself from the amount of hand waving and facial expressions he makes.
Shockingly enough, the movie does have its fair bit of charm. Sandler actually delivers a fairly honest, stoic and reserved performance as Stockburn, the movie’s main character. Even behind an unbelievably annoying backdrop, gone are the moments of Sandler’s sophomoric voices and dumb accents. This time, he actually does a pretty convincing job playing the straight man. It’s just not that not much else is funny in a two-hour film that sometimes feels like three hours. .
Though I’ve talked a lot about what went wrong with “The Ridiculous 6,” the end-product isn’t life-changingly dreadful the same way a film like “Movie 43” or “Bio-Dome” is. Even with its frustratingly irritating cast of characters, at least you’re still rooting for them and can chuckle at a few moments, like at Steve Buscemi’s sudden mid-appearance as a quack doctor/barber hybrid.
That said, while I don’t think “The Ridiculous 6” is worthy of its current zero percent status on Rotten Tomatoes, I’d say that it’s only worth a watch if you’re severely inebriated or getting paid to write about it. At least “bad” is a step up from the “unbearably awful” we all expect from Sandler at this point.