Adam Sandler and friends have gotten back together in The Ridiculous 6, but this time funded by Netflix and given complete creative control. Some would argue that Sandler’s continued creation of subpar films could be caused by the often heavy-handed control of major studios. Netflix’s trademark approach to giving complete creative control to the writers and directors have worked famously for them, giving them the most Golden Globe nominations this year for their original content. The Ridiculous 6 offers many lessons and cautionary tales (hopefully to Netflix), but the biggest accomplishment comes in the form of completely obliterating any doubts on just how complicit Adam Sandler is in the inherent mediocrity of his film: 110%.
It’s disturbing how something so gorgeously shot can be so fundamentally ugly. The serenity of the high definition wilderness juxtaposes how tumultuous and deranged every other aspect of this film is. Much like Seth McFarlane’s western wreck A Million Ways to Die in the West, The Ridiculous 6 suffers the same pitfalls, but to a much more severe degree. Both films attempted to create a Blazing Saddles-quality western spoof, but all they ended up doing was shooting themselves in the foot and making a cataclysmic mess. Where Blazing Saddles uses race, gender roles, sexual humor, and spaghetti western motifs as segues into jokes, The Ridiculous 6 uses them as crutches. They attempt to elicit laughter through shock humor, relying on some outrageous one-liner with little build up or overall cohesion.
Sandler’s reliance on low-brow toilet humor has been overdone and predictable. His jokes are shit, literally. I knew it was a matter of time before some scat humor came up, and the film couldn’t make the half hour mark before they let it flow freely and often. Then came the jokes about bestiality and sex with inanimate objects. Then it rinses and repeats the jokes, having each punchline make several more appearances in the film with the same initial success, which was none. The actors in the film laugh exponentially more than you’ve probably laughed in all of Sandler’s body of work combined. I found it hard to even summon a half-hearted smile when every repeated joke and gag comes off like nails on a chalkboard.
There is little positive to say about this film, except that it doesn’t reach any new lows. Typically, when you reach rock bottom, there is no where lower to fall, and this seems to be The Ridiculous 6‘s saving grace. That doesn’t mean this film is any less offensive, because it is riddled with typical culturally insensitive portrayals and marginalization of an entire gender. A few heinous examples would be the oversexualization of the Native Americans and depicting the women as nothing more than sexually promiscuous objects. There is also the implied relationship between Rob Schneider’s Mexican character and his donkey wife. Don’t even get me started on Taylor Lautner’s overwhelmingly unfunny portrayal of a person with an intellectual disability. It is enough to make you wonder if any of them knew about their roles before signing up for them.
The sliding Sandler scale, where you rate the film on just how much more or less offensive it was when compared to his previous works, is still completely applicable in The Ridiculous 6. Just because this film didn’t go lower than rock bottom, it doesn’t deserve an award for coasting on crappy. Even the celebrity cameos, like Vanilla Ice, Danny Trejo, Harvey Keitel, Blake Shelton, only added extra weight to an already hastily sinking ship.
Adam Sandler continues to basically create the equivalent of home movies with his friends, despite the great upgrades in the quality of the production. That proves two things: 1) No matter the amount of money you throw at a Sandler film, the overall quality will remain the same, and 2) People will continue to give Adam Sandler money to create his incredibly one-dimensional, flat humored and offensive films. As a society, we have finally reached the breaking point where we can no longer hold out hope for Sandler and company to create quality crafted comedies with any artistic merit. To do so is the very definition of insanity, doing something over and over again and expecting different results. It doesn’t take Einstein to see that their graceless approach to humor will always have the same outcome. Like the four horseman of the apocalypse, The Ridiculous 6 only forewarns of 3 more Sandler-helmed Netflix films to come. Let’s hope a real apocalype comes before they do, since mass extinction would be the preferred choice.
RATING: ★(1/10 stars)