Wednesday, June 1, 2016

THE DO-OVER (2016)

Directed By: Steven Brill 
Written By: Kevin Barentt & Chris Pappas 
Cinematography By: Dean Semler 
Editor: Tom Costain 

Cast: Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, Kathryn Hahn, Catherine Bell, Nick Swardson, Renee Taylor, Matt Walsh, Sean Astin, Natasha Leggero, Luis Guzman, Torsten Voges, Michael Chicklis, Jonathan Loughran, Robert Smigel

Two down-on-their-luck guys decide to fake their own deaths and start over with new identities, only to find the people they're pretending to be are in even deeper trouble.

This is one of Adam Sandler's better screen efforts in awhile. At least compared to his more recent films. Now having said that. It doesn't mean it is a good film. It is entertaining, but I believe it is more for an audience of his fans or at least audience members who have enjoyed his past work. As the film doesn't reinvent the wheel. Though there are some differences within the film. There are also some similarities.

As always he seems to wear his more wardrobe. His character also seems to be the Coolest who more watches and makes fun of the bad things that happen to his co-stars. Which gets annoying and also shows a unwillingness to be vulnerable. Staying in control of his image. also just comes off as pompus

Some familiar faces from his other films pop up in this film. As well as known names who play surprisingly small roles and one unrecognizable cameo. Michael Chicklis seems to fit into the role of odd recognizable celebrity in small role. Even though he really has nothing to do. Not too many lines rhyme or reason.

What the film does right is that it is a buddy comedy where his co-star David Spade get's just as much screen time and jokes. I will admit to being a David Spade fan. So this peaked my interest. Nice to see him getting a starring role again.

I am also glad as this is the rare big budget leading role for David spade. Who is funny but more stays in character. Rather then leaning on his known comedic personae.

The film is an action comedy. Which Sandler has never really tried too many times. Again the film take place in the tropics, but not as obvious and distracting as it goes along with the actual story.

Which is another strength the film actually has a story. Of course throughout the film you get a sense of something shady, but you can easily go with it for the most part.

The film is not written or even have a story by credit by Adam Sandler. So that this film feels more like a random comedy that has his sensibilities. But doesn't necessarily rely on his type of humor. In other words other actors or comedians could have starred and the film probably would play the same way.

While both actors play more their types in the roles. They don't rely as much on their comedic personas as much. As usual spade seems to be the butt of the jokes or has the more embarrassing things happen to him.

As the story goes along there is humor but it is more tied into the plot rather then just being there to lay comedic opportunities out for a bit. The action isn't that impressive, but it is good enough for the film.

The film while being more of a middle aged which fantasy. Rather then necessarily appealing to family or more teen audiences. As it seems to acknowledge and be comfortable in it's age. As this comedy is more adult, as it still has a more sophomoric sense of humor and gags. Though isn't as graphic as it suggests.

The film does feel misogynistic as there seems to be only one female character who seems decent as the others seems to be users, and sexual playthings or exploited to a degree. Which isn't necessarily unusual in an Adam Sandler comedy though maybe as one gets older you notice it more and it seems under the radar more cruel as he seems old enough to know better. As this film has plenty of cleavage and some nudity. Though as with Catherine Bell'a character she looks dynamite, but seems to be used on such a nasty way for sex jokes that seem more exploitive and mean then necessary even if it leads to a funny set piece and one of the Boundary pushing scenes. That is funny but in bad taste.

Though it is nice to see the actresses that are cast on screen and in better roles then some have had in the past. Though Natasha Leggero really has nothing to do or play except the same type of role she is getting typecast in. She plays it well, but was hoping she would have more to do or play with. Or at least get some significant scenes and screen time to push her character to it's limits.

It’s nice to see Paula Patton in a substantial role and given adequate screen time. As it seems to have been awhile since she has been on screen like that.

As in the past with THAT'S MY BOY. His last more adult comedy. At times the graphic sexual humor comes from nowhere and you're not quite sure why it had to be so boundary pushing even if it pays a small part. Is this how he feels he can show being more adult humored. Is he more going for the shock to show he still can push the envelope if need be.

I believe that some audiences might get confused as while this film might remind them of Adam Sandler's better days. The enjoyment of this film might not be that it is of actual good quality, just better then his efforts as of recent. As here he seems to step out of his comfort Zone a bit and try more as he tries to acknowledge to the audience that he does respect them and wants to give them what they want.

The film feels like it has actual stakes. Rather then just watching things happen and knowing the best will actually happen. It has suspense and an actual construction.

At first the film seems to play more with the comedic concept and be more a wish fantasy. It does set seeds up for further development of events, but again it still feels more funny and silly then anything else. As we discover it is all setting up. As soon as act 2 begins the film reveals itself and gets a bit more serious and plot oriented. So that by act 3 when all is brought to light and the majority of the action happens at least it has been earned.

I embarrassingly enjoyed this film more then I should have. While it has it's share of problems. It at least kept me entertained and felt different in a positive way then his usual films.

Feels like a middle aged fantasy that easily doubles as a beer commercial as that is what it looks like visually with the bright colors and tropical locations.

So of course as commercial cinema it has plenty of product placement. As if you were in the same situation or even in your fantasies do you fantasize of no frills stuff or brand specific? So while it might seem annoying it makes sense. As a few times there seems to be special mention of a product or plays into a scene or joke. Plus I am sure it helped pad the films budget.

Adam Sandler played an actor in 'funny people' who starred in a movie called 'do over' 2009

I hope he continues to make films such As this with Netflix. As this film didn't seem to have a bunch of roles that seem only there to cast his friends in or a production that feels more like a hangout to entertain him, rather than a film for an audience to actually enjoy. Perfect time waster on cable

Grade: C-


  1. directed by Steven Brill? That's the Mighty Ducks guy. Wondered what happened to him.