Saturday, October 24, 2020

Movie Review: "Hubie Halloween" (2020)

Movie poster for the Netflix original film "Hubie Halloween" (2020), starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, and Maya Rudolph
Image Source
Movie"Hubie Halloween"
Director: Steven Brill
Year: 2020
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes one can accuse Adam Sandler of being a bad friend.

Last year, the Sand Man appeared in "Uncut Gems" (2019), the critically acclaimed film by the Safdie Brothers, which showed that he could still be taken seriously as an actor and led to a host of awards buzz for him. During the lead-up to the Oscars, Sandler joked that if he didn't win an Academy Award, he would "fucking come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay. That's how I get them." Were his words merely empty threats, or was he frightfully serious? Sandler returns to his bread and butter of silly voices and fart jokes in his latest spooky spectacle, Netflix's "Hubie Halloween" (2020), directed by frequent collaborator Steven Brill.

Adam Sandler dresses up as a ghost in Netflix's original film "Hubie Halloween."
Adam Sandler dresses up as a ghost in the original Netflix film "Hubie Halloween." (Image provided by Netflix)
For the first few minutes of "Hubie Halloween" (2020), we thought Adam Sandler might actually be fulfilling his promise to make the worst film of his career post-Oscars "snub." As the mustachioed busy-body Hubie Dubois (Sandler) bikes down the streets of Salem with a cartoonish voice and an oblivious disposition, local area children pelt him with eggs that he catches in his self-made-Swiss-Army-wonder-Thermos. He then shakes it up, drinks it, and promptly projectile vomits all over the road. It's a lot of cringe all at once and made for a bumpy start to this Halloween-themed comedy. As the movie goes along its runtime, we must admit, we found ourselves laughing on occasion at the ridiculousness of it all, but we think it would have been a whole lot funnier without Sandler's obnoxious, grating, tedious voice choice. The Swiss Army Thermos gag is a recurring joke that gets pretty old pretty quickly, but a couple of the choice gadgets did make us smile from time to time.

Make sure you know going into this movie that the script gravitates towards references to Sandler's other works in place of actual substance. Lines are recycled ("O'Doyle rules!" was originally from "Billy Madison"), actors play similar parts (Julie Bowen has once again been cast as Sandler's love interest), and characters reprise their roles (Ben Stiller reprises his "Happy Gilmore" role as Orderly Hal, and Steve Buscemi played a werewolf in "Hotel Transylvania"). When in doubt, go for the nostalgia factor, right? Just as we've come to expect (given the last two and a half decades of precedent), Sandler and fellow screenplay writer Tim Herlihy have found another vessel to help keep all of his friend (Kevin James, Blake Clark, Shaquille O'Neal, Maya Rudolph, Tim Meadows, and active SNL players Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, and Melissa VillaseƱor) gainfully employed for another year. Like we said, he's a top-notch friend.

We couldn't help but want more from "Hubie Halloween" (2020) because we're suckers for holiday-themed fare. This movie could be considered this generation's "Ernest Scared Stupid" (1991) or "Halloweentown" (1998). It's not something we would call "an uproariously hilarious annual necessity," but it's tolerable enough to view on Halloween afternoon with the older kids before the horror movies start playing. We say older kids because it might be awkward having to explain what a "Boner Doner" is to your younger children, as our good pal MannyInLofi would tell you personally.
Julie Bowen and Adam Sandler star in the Netflix comedy "Hubie Halloween" (2020).
Julie Bowen and Adam Sandler star in the Netflix comedy movie "Hubie Halloween" (2020). (Image provided by Netflix)
Netflix's "Hubie Halloween" (2020) is nowhere near as bad as we thought it would be, but that doesn't mean it's all that good. Still, it's a far sight better than most of Adam Sandler's other Netflix offerings. The best thing we can say about this movie is that we don't completely hate ourselves for having watched it, and that's a win where Sandler flicks are concerned. For people who are looking to turn their brains off for 102 minutes just to avoid the hellish nightmare that is 2020, Hubie Dubois, his cohorts, and their shenanigans might provide a much-needed escape this Halloween.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.2/10
RT Rating: 47%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

Please be sure to check out Lolo Loves Films all over the internet!

No comments:

Post a Comment