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quarta-feira, 1 de junho de 2016

Adam Sandler and David Spade are let down by a weak plot and terrible jokes in The Do-Over – review

The Do-Over, number two in Adam Sandler’s four-film deal withNetflix, marks Sandler’s 30th starring role. Some of hisprevious 29 films were better than this one; many were worse. But none of them can compare with The Do-Over in sheer terms of plot. It doesn’t just have one. It has several and they don’t all head in the expected directions.
We don’t go to Adam Sandler for twists, for unsolved mysteries, for action sequences, for unexpected character revelations or for insights into obscure banking laws.
Adam Sandler movies fill three basic voids: the need to laugh at a rage-filled moron; the need to indulge the ego of an infantile multi-millionaire family man; and the need to wallow in the increasingly pathetic antics of a middle-aged scumbag who unashamedly acts like a hormonal high-schooler. The Do-Over fills all those needs, while simultaneously executing the twists and turns of a slapdash conspiracy thriller.
Of all the many, many criticisms that can justifiably be laid at Sandler’s expensive door, disloyalty is not one. He’s provided consistent employment for the same repertory company of stand-ups, character actors and comics who appeared with him during his early Nineties run on Saturday Night Live.
The Do-Over
Disappointing: Adam Sandler (right) and David Spade in The Do-Over CREDIT: NETFLIX
SNL colleague, the wispily sarcastic David Spade co-stars and provides the movie’s point of view. His Charlie McMillan is a ground-down sad sack, marooned in a loveless marriage, trudging through life as the manager of a bank in a supermarket. At a high school reunion that hammers home exactly how disappointing his life has become, he encounters childhood buddy Max Kessler (Sandler), the cool spontaneous dude to his cautious stick in the mud.
After a night drinking, smoking weed and basking in the wild life of FBI agent Kessler, Charlie voice-overs, “I wish I could start from scratch, just get it right this time.” And then Kessler, who turns out not to be an FBI agent but a dangerous sociopath, fakes both their deaths and gives Charlie the fresh start he thought he wanted.
From that point, the movie evolves into a Viagra commercial ticking the boxes of innumerable middle-aged male fantasies. Armed with new identities, unlimited cash and a mansion in Puerto Rico, the pair hit on bikini babes, loll in pools, drive Ferraris, and guzzle beer. And then people start shooting at them.
Evidence exists that Sandler with the right material and a sympathetic director can be a credible actor. Spade plays the pathos of Charlie rather than try to make him amusingly pathetic. Once the actual story element of The Do-Over kicks in, the movie’s periodic lurches back to gross-out humour seem increasingly out of place. And, as long-time Sandler observers are well aware, his competence at delivering an improvised comeback has tragically declined over the years.
Would The Do-Over be a spectacular triumph if it’s two stars had played the material relatively straight? Probably not. But the terrible jokes wouldn’t have got in the way of all that plot.

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