'The Do-Over': TV Review
Netflix releases its latest Adam Sandler comedy. A nation mourns.
By now, it's clear that every Adam Sandler movie is dada of the high-concept, low-hanging-fruit variety, in which the Happy Madison stock company uses filmmaking (loosely termed) as an excuse to take an extended tropical vacation. Speaking of low-hanging fruit: Luis Guzman's sweaty testicles — but we'll get to those in a moment.
First, know that a major plot point in Sandler's latest "comedy," the Netflix-produced and distributed The Do-Over, involves finding the cure for cancer. Wishful thinking at best. Is there a worst? Maybe it's that numbing sensation that sets in right from the first needle drop ("I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred) at the high school reunion where former friends Max Kessler (Sandler) and Charlie McMillan (David Spade) reconnect and ponder the roads not taken. Charlie's a bespectacled, unhappily married nerd who manages a bank branch located in a supermarket. Max is a laconic rebel who convinces Charlie he's an FBI agent, though it should come as no surprise he's lying through his teeth.
Anyways, through a series of contrivances best summed up in short phrases — "faked death," "stolen identities," "safety deposit box," "bathing beauty boobies" — the duo ends up living a life of hedonistic, Corona™-shilling luxury in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, their shenanigans draw the attention of an assassin known only as The Gymnast (Torsten Voges), who, in an especially #onbrand Sandler sequence, threatens Max with glass-shard-covered dildo rape. Also involved in this strange brew are a buxom beauty (Paula Patton) and a psycho ex-girlfriend (Kathryn Hahn), both of whom end up slo-mo catfighting to Madonna's "Crazy for You" while the boys stand back and drool. Additionally, there's a scene in which Max's dotty 83-year-old mother (Renee Taylor, who played Eva Braun in Mel Brooks' 1967 classic The Producers) unveils a droopy bust more terrifying than Kathy Bates' free-spirited character from About Schmidt.
Breasts inevitably lead us back to balls, specifically Luis Guzman's sweaty testicles. Can cinema go much further than these dangling hairy orbs? (Likely a pair of stunt nuts — perhaps even a prosthetic, though Stan Winston could hardly have done a finer job.) Shakespearean odes could be written to these hirsute gonads, especially the way they lean slightly right, so that a dribble of perspiration hits Spade squarely on the face. What's the context, you may ask? A mere word will suffice: threesome. Yes, a Spade/Guzman menage a trois. Don't worry, homophobes. There's a woman in between them. And never fear, men's-rights activists, she knows her penile-worshipping place.
Sorry, what were we talking about again? Oh yes, The Do-Over. Jay Sherman said it best: It stinks. It'll probably break every Netflix viewing record. And not cure cancer. But what movie can?
Production company: Happy Madison Productions
Cast: Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Astin, Luis Guzman, Nick Swardson, Renee Taylor, Torsten Voges
Director: Steven Brill
Writers: Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas
Producers: Kevin Grady and Adam Sandler
Executive Producers: Barry Bernardi and Kris Meyer
Cinematographer: Dean Semler
Costume Designer: Kimberly A. Tillman
Editor: Tom Costain
Music: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Casting director: Roger Mussenden