I’m sorry, but I’m getting straight to the point here. What an utter waste of time this was. I’ll be honest, I had seen that this wasn’t exactly getting stellar reviews online, and considering the recent state of Adam Sandler’s filmography, I wasn’t exactly expecting The Shawshank Redemption. What I did get was a lazy plot, predictable jokes, boring characters and another reason not to see any future Adam Sandler films. Ridiculous 6 is so loaded with homages to the classic Western genre, such as Dances With Wolves, Once Upon a Time in the West and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, that you kind of get the sense that that is how Adam Sandler may see his latest piece of work. If that is indeed the case, I’m not sure why.
To those who may be unfamiliar with the plot details, it follows the story of White Knife (Sandler), a white man who was brought up by Native Americans, who is shown to have a Batman-style origin story. By total plot convenience (something that happens often to forward the story), White Knife meets his real father, Frank Stockburn (played by Nick Nolte), who is something of a legendary outlaw. Unfortunately, Stockburn is soon captured by his old gang, who demand that he take them to the $50,000 that was stolen from them. It is this that starts White Knife’s journey to save his father, who gathers companions on the way to aid his cause.
Fear not if you have not seen it, as it copies many of the tropes that feature in all of the Sandler films. Sight gags are a plenty, even going so far as to create an antagonist gang that all cut out their right eye as a means of creating an identity (OK, that is a tiny bit funny). You will get your regular helping of fart jokes, as well as the standard slapstick humour affair. It also continues the theme of matching Sandler’s character up with a very attractive female counterpart (such as Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker and Selma Hayek), with the lucky girl being Whitney Cummings this time around.
You can’t help when watching this movie to notice how this must be a reflection on how Sandler sees himself. When his cadre of bros is fully formed, you notice the difference between all of them. They are all either stupid, failures, ignorant, mentally challenged, or just plain ridiculous. White Knife, on the other hand, is basically a superhero. Aside from his Bruce Wayne backstory, he has preternatural reflexes, agility, accuracy and smarts, making him a Superman who was raised in the West. In truth, he doesn’t even really need any help, such is his proficiency at any skill, but then there would only be a 20 minute run time.
There are familiar faces that you will recognise from this. Rob Schneider, somehow, makes another exasperating appearance. Taylor Lautner plays a mentally challenged character that insists on perpetuating a very flat nipple joke. Luke Wilson is in this, because I don’t know, money? Not even the muscles of Terry Crews can push this thing along. It hurts my soul to see renowned performers such as Nolte, Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi in this. I know that they have all done their fair share of bad movies, and I can’t really begrudge a person for earning a paycheck, but Sandler is definitely a step down from film savants such as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, whom they have worked with in the past.
Yes, it has become simple pickings to criticize Sandler. But he makes it so easy to do so. It did kind of make me smile, seeing many of the characters laugh at their own jokes, or at the low brow humour, knowing that the laughter was probably because they could not believe that they were getting paid for this. The one who did not seem to laugh at all, however, and did not seem to inspire any laughs was actually Sandler. Playing the straight man, worked for him in the Longest Yard, when he was working next to peak Chris Rock, but that thought process doesn’t really fly when Rob Schneider is the one leading the charge. Or, maybe they were laughing at me, the viewer, and how much of a fool I was for watching.