02 October 2005

The Longest Yard (2005)


Adam Sandler has always struggled to successfully tap into the european film going pysche. In the US he is nothing short of massive and his name is a big draw for audiences there-but his films here have only done fairly well compared to box office receipts in his home country.
Why this could be down to a number of reasons. His humour fails to translate well or he's just plain shit. I strongly suspect the answer lies somewhere half way between (although like Carey in Sunshine of The Eternal Spotless Mind-he does better when he plays against type i.e Punch Drunk Love)
The Longest Yard does him no favours at all. Clearly what we have here is a star vehicle movie with zero substance. TLY tells the lame story of a washed up ex football star who ended out disgraced from the game for allegedly throwing a match. The movie opens with him stealing his girlfriends car whilst drunk and subsequently gets himself arrested and locked down in a tough US jail. In there he manages to win favour with the warden by forming what should be a team of wash out football players to play-yes you guessed it-a team of guards. If this is all sounding familiar to you by now then the answer to that suspicion is indeed true. Its a remake of the far superior1974 movie Mean Machine(UK Title)/The Longest Yard (US Title). Remakes very rarely sit well with me-on the whole arguably they are dross-and this one certainly doesnt break with tradition. The director Peter Segal obviously loves Sandler-having previously worked with him on the abysmally poor 50 First Dates and the truely unfunny Anger Management-he delves even further into this director/actor relationship sinking himself even further into the pit of despair.
TLY simply isn't remotely funny. When your watching a movie which is intended to be a comedy and one that illicts one slight belly laugh you know your watching dross-and bad dross at that. Sandler muddles along with Chris Rock who has always been hit and miss for me (stick to the live shows is my advice) both delivering dreadful lines that truely miss the bulls eye of comedy. The films soundtrack is a mixture of hip hop and some awful sounding rock type anthems which supposedly pumps up the viewer to plump for the underdogs which by this time I had lost total interest in. A cameo appearance by a well worn Burt Reynolds does nothing for this movie whatsoever. Some of the characters are bordering on the offensive with gross stereotypes of homosexuals and the black community. This film is a pile of shit-and the cherry on the top of this Mr Whippy turd is the blatant product placement of McDonalds in this movie (yes you read that right-McDonalds in a prison). By the end of this movie I couldnt care who won or lost the finale game. When Chris Rocks character bites the bullet and the cross read CARETAKER I was mulling over the possibility that the name on his cross should've read DIRECTOR instead. Yes folks-that bad.
If I hadnt been watching this movie at 36,000 ft (it was an inflight movie) I wouldve walked out. Come to think of it-freefalling at 36,000ft with no parachute is far more attractive than sitting through what can only be described as a painful experience. As witty as a burning orphanage.

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