The Ridiculous 6

The Ridiculous 6 Movie ReviewNetflix
Unrated.
Running time: 119 minutes.
Zero stars out of four.

I’m gonna do away with this quickly, because why should I put more thought into “The Ridiculous 6” than the people who actually made it? That’s just nuts. But several of you guys asked whether I’d seen the latest Adam Sandler debacle, and so out of professional edification (if nothing else) I made myself hop on over to Netflix to stream it on Sunday night.

My husband and I cracked open a bottle of red wine in hopes that it would ease the suffering, but alas, it did not. He fell asleep next to me on the couch pretty quickly, but I take my job seriously, dammit, so not only did I force myself to stay awake the whole time, I also took notes. Actual notes! That’s dedication, people. They include phrases like “burro projectile shitting,” “Taylor Lautner fares better in ‘Grown Ups 2′” and “Steve Zahn eyeball scoop,” but there was indeed an attempt at offering some sort of substantive analysis. One can only do so much.

The mostly lazy “Ridiculous 6” may have more impressive production values than the average Sandler vehicle, and it feels less like a shameless vacation for himself and his friends than most of his movies do because it takes place in a remote, scrubby section of New Mexico. Several Native American cast members notoriously walked off the set in protest because they found the cliche-addled script so offensive. Truly, though, it would be news if a Sandler film didn’t offend somebody, at some point, on some level. The only difference this time is that he brings his brand of crass, puerile humor straight to television rather than theaters.

You can watch “The Ridiculous 6” whenever you’d like from the comfort of your own home. Lucky you.

Anyway, the film from frequent Sandler collaborator Frank Coraci (“The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy,” “Click”) is a Western, in theory, because it takes place in the American West and it’s a knock-off of “The Magnificent Seven.” Sandler stars as Tommy, who’s been raised by Native Americans under the name White Knife. He goes on a quest to rescue his estranged, bank-robber dad (Nick Nolte) from kidnappers and along the way runs into the random-idiot half-brothers he never knew he had: Ramon (Rob Schneider), Lil’ Pete (Lautner), Herm (Jorge Garcia), Chico (Terry Crews) and Danny (Luke Wilson).

Seems Dad got around, which brings us to a recurring and unpleasant theme: Except for White Knife’s fiancee (Julia Jones), whose name is Smoking Fox, all the women in this film are straight-up prostitutes or they’re just generally promiscuous and forward. (This includes Sandler’s real-life wife, Jackie, who has a brief supporting role as a flirty woman named Never Wears Bra. This is the level of humor you can expect in the script from Sandler and Tim Herlihy.)

The six of them team up to save their father and retrieve his hidden, pilfered fortune. It’s a journey that consists of a series of painfully unfunny gross-out gags and cliched cultural stereotypes, strung together with no sense of cohesion, timing or forward momentum but frequent bursts of explosive donkey diarrhea. “The Ridiculous 6” slogs along for two staggering hours but never really goes anywhere. If the humor were inappropriate but funny, it would be totally fine. But the jokes come in an overlong, tone-deaf litany, with Sandler at the helm phoning it in more than usual. Increasingly, he’s seemed bored in his own movies; here, he ostensibly can hide behind the stoicism of his character, but he just talks in a lifeless monotone. How can he possibly motivate others when he’s so obviously unmotivated himself?

Anyway, Vanilla Ice shows up as Mark Twain and Sandler regular Dan Patrick has a cameo as Abraham Lincoln. Neither casting choice is as amusing as it probably sounds in your own head. Among the other actors in the massive ensemble cast who could not possibly need work badly enough to say yes to this: Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Will Forte, Whitney Cummings, Zahn and Lautner. Hell, Blake Shelton is a brand unto himself, but for some reason he agreed to show up in one scene as Wyatt Earp. Additionally, the usual suspects abound: former “Saturday Night Live” pals David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Chris Parnell and Schneider and — of course — Nick Swardson.

At one point, several of these actors take part in a high-stakes poker game in which they talk about the significance of satire. Is that what they were going for here? Never would have guessed that amid the muck and stench of donkey feces.

9 Comments on “The Ridiculous 6

  1.  by  Krishna

    Christy,

    My sympathies are with you for watching this movie. I was contemplating myself to watch it or not since it is available on Netflix. I can’t believe Netflix which is behind revolutionizing tv series watching is behind this production. Thanks for watching this so that we don’t have to go through this nonsense of a movie. I hope Netflix isn’t going to ruin ‘crouching tiger hidden dragon’ sequel like this one.

    Cheers.

  2.  by  Jamie

    Dear Christy,
    Would you say Adam Sandler is more, less or as lazy as his performance is in PIXELS? That’s probably the laziest performance I’ve ever seen anyone give…

  3.  by  Brian O' Hanlon

    The movie critic’s head line ?

    ‘The shallow movie about nothing, which encourages deep questioning about everything’.

    If one can analyze the annals of cinema and story telling in that media – a device (using ‘collections’ of people), – be it the ‘ridiculous’ six, the magnificent seven, or Ocean’s eleven – is a device which must be treated with respect. The remainder of this analysis, will attempt to illustrate that point. As with most things in cinema, it leads back to characterization. It’s use, it’s mis-use, or even it’s abuse. There are questions which ought to be put, of Sandler’s work. Whether the ‘genre’ is tragedy, or comedy – Western, Las Vega bank job, or Japanese Samurai. Whether it’s intended for Netflix distribution, straight to tape, or Studio owned script, contract and intellectual property.

    No matter what.

    The dumbest and most impractical thing that I ever tried to do with movies, was an experiment that I tried out with a fellow university student, way back in the early nineties (when ‘accessibility’ to great movie archives, through VHS tape etc wasn’t anything like as good as it is nowadays). He was one of two old university pals, who later went on to become a media journalist of some success here in Ireland. I asked him to name his three favorite movies – because he seemed to talk about them a lot – and I basically wanted to put him ‘on the spot’, and call him out on the ‘knowledge’ that he claimed to possess about cinema and culture in general.

    What I had stumbled upon those many years ago, was a quite interesting social experiment. It’s one that I have repeated numerous times down through the years, whenever I reach a point in a conversation, where a colleague is trying to wear ‘cinema awareness and wisdom’ credentials, on their sleeve. It’s a good experiment to carry out, when one does ‘meet’, or cross paths with a cinema buff – owing to the fact – that went a cinema buff is presented with this question – what are your three favorite movies – it’s a bit like one of those tools, that is designed to put a computer to a ‘benchmark’ test. It runs a query on the human ‘database’ in the mind of the cinema buff – and they feel compelled to finish running the query and provide ‘an answer’. It’s a slightly cruel experiment to impose on a real cinema buff, in that respect. But it is one, that does produce some very solid data points, occasionally.

    Back in the early nineteen nineties, there was something happening in cinema land, where Americans were starting to come to terms with their recent history and past. My pal who later became a journalist, I think was considering deeply for a guy of his years, the questions which certain movies were trying to ask at the time, about America and it’s society. He named three movies for me. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, the Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now.

    Before, he provided me with this answer, I had been making fun of him I think. After he provided me with this answer, I think I felt that he had earned my respect. There was something about his answer – which sort of turned the experiment around on me. Because he provided me with a series of movies, that all attempted to tackle subject matter, and probe the affects of war and conflict, upon ‘small town’ communities. I also realized, that none of these movies, would ever make it into my ‘top three’, if I did choose to turn the experiment around on myself. In fact, I realized at that point, that I did not have an answer to the same question, if I were asked myself. Over the years, being aware of this experiment that I had try to run, upon someone who was ‘vocal’ in their opinions about cinema and it’s purpose in the universe – I did manage to invest some effort and time – into figuring out what my three best movies choice – might look like.

    Ben in his introduction, mentioned a movie called the Magnificent Seven. Try as hard and all, as I have done, since that day in the early 1990’s, . . . the Magnificent Seven, is one of those movies, that I was never quite able to dislodge, from my ‘short list’ of the three best movies of all time – as I would choose. Two movies, in particular, The ‘Seven’ movie, and another one, ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’, have always been there in the top three. The third place, in my short list has always changed from time to time. But in line with the original experiment described, the third one always has to be ‘consistent’, with the other two.

    When my friend first answered my very cheeky question – almost a quarter of a century ago – he was making an argument, as to something that movies can do. They can investigate questions, about the impact upon ‘small, closely-knit’ communities, of events that happen outside of that community. The small community is in ways, a reflection, or a mirror glass of what is happening outside, on the larger scale. In my case, I always went for movies that hard characters in them – so much so – that in the Sergio Leone 1968 feature – each character is defined by a different theme music. The definition of the character, even finds its way into the creation of the musical score. Not only that, director Leone had Morricone compose the score, so he could time line his actors and the scene around it. And similarly, with Magnificent Seven, the movie is about characters and the interaction of those characters.

    But in a way, the choice of movies by my good friend, decades ago, and my own choice are not a millions miles separated. In Apocalypse Now, the movie is about the character played by Marlon Brando (like my friend told me, he is absent for most of the movie), whose influence is felt and carried by the other characters, all throughout the movie, that is about a journey up a river. And in the Deer Hunter, the absent character is the conflict in a far away place, that still manages to affect a small Pennsylvanian mining town in tangible ways – ways in which the small community does not know how to reconcile or understand. In ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, the main character appears to be Jack Nicholson, or the nurse played by Louise Fletcher. But again, it is one of these absent characters, the one played by Will Sampson I think, who sort of steals it, in the very end.

    I tend to favor movies, where the main characters aren’t absent – but are very much present – and may even have their own theme music in a movie. But nonetheless, characters when one manages to understand what they are, how to use them as a device in order to articulate a story – can be handled in many different ways. Generally speaking, when you do run the experiment on a genuine movie fan – and pin them down in the impractical way – to choose only three movies – it’s a process of elimination. The answers that one generally gets, provides a short list of three movies – and in general what one will discover – is a level of consistency in the choice of the three movies – and it all has to do with the intelligent ways that good writers and directors, understand the use of characters in a movie.

    The question remains, against these yard sticks, how does the Netflix production in 2015 measure up, against the above, at all?

    •  by  jozielee

      It’s hard to choose just 3 movies out of the hundreds we’ve seen in our lifetimes, no matter the criteria. Can’t comment on Sandler’s film. Watched only about 20 minutes before my mind wandered and my mouse opened a new browser page. Thanks for your post. Really enjoyed the read.

      •  by  Brian O' Hanlon

        Very often, men can go even more extreme, than a short list of three movies. At least, three introduces a small amount of balance and diversity to the ‘experiment’. Some men, go all out, and short list it down to one movie. Movies such as the Godfather, have occupied places like that, in the minds of some men. I was wondering recently, if I had ever come across a movie, which had drawn female viewers to it, with something like the same level of devotion. There are probably a few. There was always something known as a ‘chic flick’, when I was growing up. Very often, men enjoyed watching ‘chic flicks’, but putting a label on it, allowed them to retain a feeling of detached masculinity, whilst enjoying a movie that ventured into a different part of the emotional spectrum.

        But even in the movies, that were widely considered to be, and were described as masculine movies – characterization was still present – in the likes of individuals like Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon, or in James Bond. They established their own brand. A lot of the masculine roles, action hero’s or otherwise, in today’s cinema are devoid of a character. It’s like, a lot of roles today, are ‘generic’, no-brand roles. To think of one example, the recent San Andreas earthquake movie. There have been a truck load of movies along that vein in modern times, which could be accused of being masculine, action movies, where female characters are damsels in peril, needing to be rescued by a helicopter etc. But the male roles in those movies have very little dimension to them either.

        Walking into a ‘movie experience’, in 2015, often feels like one of those scenes, where visitors enter a village that looks normal from the outside – but there are no kids, or no old people, or whatever. One feels, watching a lot of movies nowadays, that one is walking into a characterization sanitized zone.

        The logical thing to imagine, is that ‘characters’, haven’t all just vanished off the face of the planet. They must have gone somewhere. And then the penny drops. One looks at all of the smash hit television series, that everyone nowadays talks about. And what one finds, is that world is populated, that world is built around characters, roles that men and women can act and play in, and that give audiences huge satisfaction. There has been a sort of ethnic cleansing going on, in the universe that is movies, and movie theaters. Where one is almost guaranteed nowadays, when one visits a movie theater, that one is not going to have any new, chance encounters with a character one hadn’t met before. And that was one of the attractions, I would argue, of the old movie industry.

        But that brings me back to the experiment – the best three movies of all time. What I think I’ve realized is that women never raved about movies, in the same way that men can do. But I think that female viewers always had something else in reserve – and I think it took some men – a long time to catch on to it. There were things called soap operas in the olden days. Soap operas were things that females would gather together, to chat about at lunch breaks, in the old days. Almost guaranteed that the men in the work place, would find themselves outside of that conversation, because they just could not muster up the equivalent level of dedication, to follow the plot lines over an extended period.

        When expert movie critics, use technical language to describe how a movie is constructed – they tend to use phrases like ‘character arc’s’, and ‘plot lines’, and ‘pacing’. But let’s just remember, that the extended plot line was always there, it was buried in something that used to be known as the ‘soap opera’. The version of the ‘plot line’, that was present in a movie, was the bite-sized chunk, that was deliberately sized down for male consumption – in older societies. And I believe, that in the modern world with the benefit of education and training, and general advancement – the human species have evolved to the point nowadays – where all of the sexes are actively consuming the longer format, the extended plot line, the multiple season show.

        But the impression, that it leaves me with – it’s sort of like that effect that people talk about – when the large mega store, arrives on the edge of a town – and main street suddenly turns into a ghost town. That’s what has happened gradually, but definitely, in the last decade. I remember, dating a young woman a decade ago – and she spoke about ‘Twenty Four’. Again, I did not have the mental capacity and dedication required to follow ‘Twenty Four’. She and her pals, used to get together at weekends and have sit downs to watch multiple episodes of ‘Twenty Four’. I remember once, I managed to drag her away from her box sets, to movie theater where ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was playing. I could see that she was outside of her comfort zone – and didn’t think that a movie theater was a fitting place for thirty something year old adults.

        You could catch a ‘gleam’ in my eye though, when we were exiting the rear of the movie theater, and there were two seventy something year old’s there – who had visibly enjoyed watching ‘Brokeback Mountain’ – and she seemed a bit thrown by that. But at that point I think, the human species had already diverged – from a media and entertainment point of view. On the one hand, there were homo sapiens, who had ‘box sets’, and they would go on to inherit the planet. Then you can meagre chaps like myself, who didn’t own a DVD player – who were like a ‘throw back’ to an earlier time. We were extinct by that stage, but we just didn’t know it. I’ve probably managed to get a more upright stance to my walk after a whole decade later. But I’m still wary about that. I don’t want to wake up one day, and realize that I’ve become Ben.

        •  by  Jozielee

          Hey Brian. I would venture to guess Gone With The Wind would top many a favorites list for men and women. Scarlett and Rhett are fully fleshed out characters.

          Brokeback Mountain was a great movie – a beautiful love story.

          True, we have a long way to go regarding diversity. StarWars is a great example of a new hope in this direction.

          •  by  Brian O' Hanlon

            There were a few of the movies in the classic old sense (movies that are probably more timeless than most of the movies ever made), which did appeal across all sexes, all divides. There were movies that men and women, of generations before mine, still speak about. Gone with the Wind, is one of those.

            There will be much said about Star Wars no doubt.

            Christy, Ben, Matt and Alonso, in their work for their reviews lately – have put forward an argument – that maybe Star Wars has become like that – it’s now a ‘national monument’. Maybe Star Wars, is like the ‘heads’ on Easter Island. Huge, and monumental, and simply, there. I don’t if ‘Gone with the Wind’, could be compared to an Easter Island monument. But we can forget how long some of these movies have been around.

            The members of Christy’s panel talk show online, What the Flick, do seem to get great enjoyment out of an old interview that Sir Alec Guinness gave, when he was working on the first Star Wars movie. Guinness had gone and criticized the whole project that he was involved in, in the 1970’s. Ben mentioned the fact, that in 1977, Smokie and the Bandit was the best movie to go and watch. I don’t remember 1977, nearly as well as the panel do. I am not that familiar with Smokie and the Bandit.

            The panel mentioned, that George Lucas wanted to make Flash Gordon in the late seventies. Maybe, one can become too literal in deciding what films it was, that Lucas as a director wanted to make, or didn’t want to make. There is one movie, which nobody who ever reviews Star Wars would ever mention. It is a movie from 1973, I think does provide a reference point for the kinds of movies that were being made back then. The Day of the Jackal (1973), featured as it’s leading actor, a man called Edward Fox. It’s a good example of a cold war thriller.

            The actor Fox, was younger than Sir Alec Guinness. I think, the point we need to remember, when reviewing the original 1977 George Lucas movie, Star Wars – is the fact that audiences at that time – were more willing to acknowledge certain realities, in the post second world war era. The movie, ‘The Day of the Jackal’, is a movie that provides a useful comparison to the original Star Wars movie.

            I think what audiences in the 1970’s, were willing to accept and believe, was the fact that large ideologies, and very big leadership figures, and the whole ‘cold war’ thing was real back then. The panel in their review of Star Wars, and it’s latest installation, mentioned that a lot of Star Wars happens ‘out on the fringes’. This idea of being out on the fringes, is an element that was central to the Obi-wan Kenobi character played by Alec Guinness. This idea that himself and Yoda also, another Jedi master had to hide in the shadows.

            That got lost in the Prequel movies of Star Wars, that George Lucas made in the last decade. But audiences in the 1970’s were capable of understanding these Jackal, and Jedi kinds of people – and how they fitted into the much larger picture.

            Matt from the panel, brought up the important observation, that in the third part of the ‘Prequel’, Obi-Wan’s character played by Ewan McGregor, is supposed to become Alec Guinness, two decades later on. It is a valid point. The panel did mention, the makers of the Star Wars ‘prequel’, could have aged Ewan McGregor’s character – and it would then have allowed Ewan McGregor’s character to work better with that of Alec Guinness, from the 1977 original.

            The makers of the prequel didn’t understand, or didn’t care about doing that – more is the misfortune. In characters played by Alec Guinness, or the one played by Edward Fox, we don’t really know much about them. What is a Jackal? What is a Jedi? Somehow, we can enjoy the movies, without being entirely sure. The movie move along, and we pick up some idea, by their behavior and their tactics. An audience is able to piece it together.

            The guy who lived in a cave, on a dessert planet, and talks about the Jedi past – ‘Old Ben’ as Luke refers to him as. The writers of the script in the 2000’s, did not know or care how to work with that character, in creating the part that Ewan McGregor would play. The sad truth is, I don’t know if writers and directors are even taught that in schools anymore. It’s like they didn’t know, or didn’t care what to look for in the original trilogy, to tell them how to create the Prequel.

            Ben in his criticism of Star Wars, brought up the point too – he wanted to see more of the Empire. But the fact is, the device that George Lucas used – is a device which was used in other movies at the same time – and it worked very successfully, because audiences were prepared to buy it. Maybe, the audience isn’t prepared to buy that, to the same extent now, because that huge, global, east versus west thing – doesn’t exist in peoples’ minds, like it used to.

            The story of the ‘Day of the Jackal’, is a story that happens out on the fringes – like George Lucas’s original Star Wars. And like Star Wars, the ‘Day of the Jackal’, ties back into something much larger. That is, the French president Charles De Gaulle. So audiences back then, were prepared to believe that. That events depicted with Edward Fox’s character, that happen very far away from the center – eventually leads back into the center of power, at some stage.

            To summarize, when one does work with movies like Star Wars, that have been around for so long (or a franchise like that of Rocky, or any other), it is a bit like working with antique architecture. One has to consider the legacy and past, before one decides to graft on anything, that comes to mind. There has to be a consideration given to the workings, of what went before – how the characters worked, and how they created their world – and basically, what were audiences used to seeing at that time. And at the same time, be willing and brave enough to add something new.

            I honestly believe, that part of the success of the original Star Wars, that ‘out on the fringe’ element that the panel spoke about – is directly related to the kinds of ‘cold war’ thrillers that were common at that time – and audiences back then were willing to believe. And the strange thing is, in making movies in the 2010’s, one still has to respect that original story, and original concept. Otherwise it just looks wrong.

  4.  by  jozielee

    Christy: As a Adam Sandler fan I must admit I enjoyed Blended and The Cobbler, but Ridiculous 6 was just too shitty for me. I’m grossed out just thinking about Rob Schneider prompting his jack ass to hold back his poop for the right moment. UGH!

    Note to Adam Sandler: less poop, more relationship. Just cause my 9-yr-old grandson loves talking about poop and buggers doesn’t mean I like supervising these events in movies he wants to watch.

    You are right . . . this movie is a load of . . .

  5.  by  Mr sparkle

    Boring not even a chuckle ruined comedy careers I’m done