It could be seen as tiresome for a joke about taking knives to a gun fight to last almost two hours, as does The Ridiculous 6, but then a slapstick comedic attempt at a video game western could be forgiven for a having too much of a mediocre thing. Fans of Adam Sandler, may enjoy this star studded offering, while others may want to do as “Smoking Fox” suggests and “gouge their eyes out,” after 159 minutes of nonstop Sandler.
Perhaps the biggest issue with this “comedy” western, apart from the blending of genres and entertainment mediums, is that it feels like one long Saturday Night Live skit. Like the vast majority of Sandler’s films that all have the same feel and similar formula. The Ridiculous 6 could have been called “Happy Gilmore Goes West” and lost nothing.
Starring Chandler, Nick Nolte, Harvey Keitel, Taylor Lautner and Luke Wilson, along with the ever-present Danny Trejo, The Ridiculous 6 has a impressive pedigree of actor mixed in with SNL alumni who fill out the cast; Jon Lovitz, Rob Schneider. With a cameo by Steve Buscemi as a dentist/barber/doctor and John Turturro as Abner Doubleday one can only wonder what Sandler held over these performers to entice them to be in the film.
Sandler plays “White Knife” and/Tommy depending on what hat he wears, who goes to save his re-discovered father Frank Stockburn (Nolte) and along the way finds five men who all share his paternal genes. Sandler’s idea of a taciturn western character is to growl in a low tone while gazing laconically at the camera.
For all about the film that annoys, bores and (typical of Sandler’s one note humor) is too silly for words, there are funny moments that stand out. There are also performances that lend themselves to praise.
For instance, Taylor Lautner has well and truly left the horrid verse of Twilight behind and shown that he can do comedic impressions. As Lil’ Pete, Lautner gets to keep his shirt on and do his version of a simpleton Ashton Kutcher. The actor is funny and this is either one hell of a homage to Mila Kunis’ new hubby or one massive “mickey take.” Whichever way, Taylor is leaning in his performance, he does leave his mark.
On a sidenote, the film looks great. Very “western-y” all pole corrals, proper looking saloons and outfits that fit. It must be this “focus” on authenticity that moved the “True West” magazine’s “film critic” to speak so favorably about the film.
Steve Buscemi and the ointment gag, not once but twice. Buscemi manages to make one jar of ointment as disgusting as possible. Cringingly funny.
Luke Wilson and Harvey Keitel with the glass gag. Wilson’s character annoys Smiley (Keitel) who proceeds to beat the dickens out of Danny (Wilson). The saloon owner throws the man about like a giant rag doll and punches him repeatedly, all the while not one drop from the half-full glass is spilt.
Harvey Keitel, again as the headless Smiley.
The entire “Danny backstory” about Abe Lincoln.
Nick Nolte single-handedly populating most of the old west
Terry Crews and his red Michael Jackson outfit.
Brit English entertainment reporter Robin Leach providing the “voice” of Herm (Lost actorJorge Garcia)
Jorge Garcia as Herm.
The entire Left-Eye Gang buried in the dirt, up to their heads, and the crow, ants, lizard and snake…
Nick Nolte’s “Sh*t happens,” line.
The brilliant actor Steve Zahn and his cock-eye performance as Clem.
Taylor Lautner’s scene on the gallows.
The “Native American” gags are nowhere near as funny as Sandler seems to believe.
Sandler’s preoccupation with Let’s Make a Deal and Bob Barker.
The taking a knife to a gunfight gag that runs throughout the film and the fact that the star and his director feel the need to actually point out the joke in case we missed it.
The Assassin’s Creed style of climbing walls.
The giant gold nugget that was light enough for a single man to carry.
Adam Sandler’s vocal delivery.
Rob Schneider’s Mexican accent.
The entire Mark Twain, Gen. Custer and Wyatt Earp poker game and the “gangster-speak.”
The apparent nod to Annabelle.
There were bits that missed the saddle completely. The end credits, with their Spaghetti Western animation a’la A Fistful of Dollars felt that is belonged to a different film completely. The Ridiculous 6 had nothing to do with Leone-esque type westerns or any other oater genre.
Sandler had issues with a number of his Native American cast walking off in disgust at his humor. Amazingly, there were no non-Native American cast members who left for the same reason. It really does beggar believe as to how Sandler got actors like Keitel and Buscemi, and Nolte to sign up.
The Ridiculous 6 is an uneven affair that has moments of hilarity, tediousness and forced humor. This comedy western is a “straight-to-Netflix” effort, funded by the site, and it feels right at home in the medium.
This is a 3.5 out of 5 stars, earning such a high mark because the gags that do work are hysterically funny. Fans of Sandler will love this effort and should go over to Netflix now and watch it. Others may want to give this a miss, although there are bits which tickle the funny bone. People who do not think that Adam Sandler is that funny will definitely want to avoid this film, instead of gouging out eyeballs.