Movie Review #1,083
Distributed by Netflix. Action, Adventure, Comedy. Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes. Not rated by the MPAA. Released May 27, 2016. Directed by Steven Brill. Produced by Allen Covert, Kevin Grady, Adam Sandler, and Ted Sarandos. Written by Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas. Starring Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, Kathryn Hahn, Nick Swardson, Matt Walsh, Renée Taylor, Sean Astin, Natasha Leggero, Luis Guzmán, Catherine Bell, Jackie Sandler, and Michael Chiklis.
Charlie (David Spade) is a bored fortysomething with an unhappy marriage and a gloomy job managing a bank at a supermarket. At a high school reunion, he runs into Max (Adam Sandler), an old friend from high school who is now working as an FBI agent. They decide to spend the weekend on Max’s yacht for old time’s sakes. This quickly becomes the best weekend Charlie has had in a while. That is, until Max decides to blow up the yacht and fake both of their deaths. Along with the revelations that he is actually a coroner and not an FBI agent, and that he used two unclaimed cadavers to help in faking their deaths, Max tells Charlie that they are now going to start their lives from scratch with new identities. Charlie, however, isn’t so fond of this idea.
That plot is stupid even for an Adam Sandler movie. It worsens at the climax, when it suddenly turns into a sappy Lifetime movie. But “The Do-Over” is a comedy, and therefore the main thing we’re concerned about here is the humor, which, to my surprise, isn’t half-bad. Like any recent Sandler movie, the script avoids any sense of natural dialogue, for the asking of injecting it with cheap, in-your-face jokes. But unlike any other recent Sandler movie, the humor doesn’t really grow obnoxious here.
It would certainly take a masterpiece to redeem Mr. Sandler for every “Jack and Jill”, every “Grown Ups 2”, and every “Ridiculous 6” he has terrorized us with over the last half a decade, and will no doubt continue to make us suffer with in coming years. “The Do-Over” is no masterpiece. Its story is all sorts of screwed-up, it suffers from mediocre acting, and its pacing is god-awful. But it’s certainly a hell of a lot better than it could’ve been. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but hey, it made me laugh a good bit.