The First Adam Sandler Picture for Netflix Has a Title That Captures it All

DIRECTOR: Frank Coraci/2015
So, I figured I’d finally sit down and watch Adam Sandler’s new made-for-netflix film The Ridiculous 6.  I went in knowing much about the alleged controversy of his handling of the native American culture, and have known the type of humor to be expecting from any Adam Sandler comedy.  On that front, and given the title of the film, there should be no surprises at the low-brow humor you are in for when you click on this film to “Netflix and chill” though not with the newer meaning that phrase now implies.Adam Sandler plays White Knife, a man raised by the Apache after his mother was shot down.  He has learned their mystic ways of fighting but has also been trained to fight when defending the weak and vulnerable.  He is engaged to be married to “Smokin’ Fox” (Julia Jones), a beautiful Apache woman (and one of the names this film was in trouble for, for being insensitive).  When his birth father Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte) shows up to reconnect and offer him $50,000 as a way to say he’s sorry for not being there, and for being a notorious outlaw, White Knife is forced to decide to confront his “white” culture.  This is especially true when his dad is kidnapped by his old gang, now led by Cicero who is played by Danny Trejo, for stealing their money.Along the way to trying to get the money to where his Dad’s gang is headed, White Knife encounters a series of individuals who it turns out are all his half-brothers.  There is the hispanic Ramon (Rob Schneider) with his diarrhea-shooting burro named Bueno (more racially offensive stereotyping?).  Also the simple Forrest Gump-like Lil’ Pete (Taylor Lautner), the piano-playing Chico (Terry Crews) who informs us that he might be “half-black” in case we “were wondering”, the grunting mute Herm (Jorge Garcia), and failed Secret Service agent (who is responsible for Lincoln’s assassination) Danny (Luke Wilson).

In order to have the money to ransom their dad away from Cicero, they embark on a series of robberies from only bad people.  This makes them wanted by several lawmen and from the left-eyed gang (who literally gouge out their left eyes to show allegiance to the gang) who were embarrassed by White Knife earlier when they messed with Smokin’ Fox.

The film is utterly ridiculous as the name implies.  Once you get past the first 20 minutes or so, it settles in a bit to at least be serviceable as a comedy, though no culture is left untouched in its wake, and the humor is as low-brow as almost anything Sandler has ever done.

And for as good as an ensemble cast that is boasted by such great films this year as SpotlightThe Big Short, and The Hateful Eight, this cast may just rival them.  Take a look at this list, and realize how deep this ensemble goes, even in its minor cameo roles: Adam Sandler, Nick Nolte, Taylor Lautner, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia (Hugo on LOST), Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, Danny Trejo, Will Forte, Steve Zahn, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Jon Lovitz, Whitney Cummings, David Spade, Nick Swardson, Vanilla Ice, Norm Macd, onald, Dan Patrick, Chris Kataan, and Blake Shelton.

The fact that there is this good of cast in something like this, and with the budget they reportedly worked on (it was said to be quite low) is a testament to either the friendships they all have with Adam Sandler, or the expectation that through this partnership with Netflix, they expect to be seen in a lot of homes.  They might have also just seen it as a chance to have fun making a movie with their friends with no expectations at all from an artistic or financial standpoint.  With Vanilla Ice playing a “thug life” version of Mark Twain at a high-stakes poker game, there are no expectations.

In the end, you get exactly what the name of the film implies… nothing more, and nothing less. The humor, while offensive to some, is equally targeting everything and failing at almost every turn.  The fun happens with each new cameo like John Turturro teaching the brothers and a bunch of men from China the game of what we know as “Baseball”, or Steve Buscemi playing a barber/medicine man/salesman who puts healing ointment on herb, rubs it on Bueno’s sphincter before applying it as both shaving cream, a mouth wash, and lip balm (without ever washing his hands before using it again for the next person).

If you decide to check out this film, know a few things going in…maybe 6 things:

1. It is ridiculous.

2. It is an extremely low-brow Adam Sandler comedy.

3. It has a great cast.

4. It isn’t trying to be a good film.

5. It aims to offend somebody.

6. It is part of a 4 picture deal with Adam Sandler and Netflix so its a sign of things to come.  By streaming it, you may be encouraging more of “it”.