Sunday, April 16, 2017

Movie Review: "The Do-Over" (2016)

Director: Steven Brill
Year: 2016
Rating: TV-MA
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Charlie is a loser bank manager stuck in a loveless marriage. At his high school reunion, he reunites with Max, an old friend of his who claims he is now an FBI agent. When the two meet up on Max's boat, Max takes it upon himself to fake their deaths so they can start their lives over again with new identities. Unfortunately, their new identities are those of wanted criminals and are on somebody's hit list, somebody who is gunning for them from the start of their new lives.

"The Do-Over" is the second original film Adam Sandler has made for his multi-picture deal with the streaming service Netflix. It is directed by Steven Brill, who has previously worked with Sandler on the movies "Little Nicky" and "Mr. Deeds." Sandler plays Max, a man claiming to be an FBI agent when he rekindles an old friendship with his high school chum Charlie, played by long-time Sandler pal David Spade. Charlie is a bit of a loser. He works a menial job he doesn't really like and is stuck in a loveless marriage with a wife who constantly cheats on him and two step-kids who always disrespect him. Max decides to do them both a favor, and that means doing the only normal thing he could possibly think of, which is to fake their deaths. The newfound identities they take, however, belong to two men who are on the FBI's 10 most wanted list and are the targets of a crazy gymnastics-flipping assassin because of course they are.

It has been well documented on this website of ours that BigJ and I love to torture ourselves cinematically. Adam Sandler used to make tolerable films, some we even really enjoy, but his last decade and a half's worth of work has been unpleasant at best. Needless to say, after his first Netflix-made movie "The Ridiculous 6," which was a horrendous trainwreck of epic proportions, we really didn't expect much of anything from "The Do-Over."

We are pleased to say, it is much better than his previous movie, but not by much. It's still not very good. Shockingly, it is not completely devoid of humor. There are a couple of laughs scattered throughout its run time, and not just little chuckles, but genuine laughs. In fact, both of us laughed at the same joke and proceeded to stare at one another quizzically because we didn't think laughing at an Adam Sandler movie was possible anymore. The plot is pretty ludicrous and the narrative is all over the place. Sandler's Max lies about being a FBI agent and lies about being many other things relevant to the story as well. He eventually admits to being a guidance counselor, though it is unclear why he is so amazing with firearms and explosives, and the movie never explains why he is resistant to torture. We guess listening to people whine about their problems all day may be considered a form of torture by some. Most the plot points are little more than contrived comedic conveniences doing their best to reach for laughs rather than to drive the story in a natural manner. If this film were funnier, it may be a little more forgivable, but when most of the jokes miss their mark, there is nothing to fall back on.

Adam Sandler plays his typical self, and now that he can make TV-MA rated movies for Netflix, it gives him license to do whatever the hell he wants, including curse up a storm, stare at boobs, be raunchy, and blow things up for wanton disregard for anyone or anything else. Throughout his career, David Spade has played two type of characters: the typically funny, stuffy, snide, sarcastic, asshole, and the less funny pathetic loser that hopes you take pity on him. Here, he plays the latter, a buffoon who can't see what is right in front of him and hopes to do enough to get by in life being his pitiful self. We're not quite sure why Paula Patton agreed to be in this movie, but it's not like she's got a lot going on in her career anyways, and it's not like she's an actress who is "too good for this" kind of material.

In the end, "The Do-Over" isn't the worst Adam Sandler movie and is even mildly tolerable at times, but that still doesn't mean we recommend it. It can be annoying at times, but at least there isn't a donkey that has explosive diarrhea in it.

My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 5%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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