Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What's On Netflix?: THE DO-OVER

Welcome to another installment of WHAT'S ON NETFLIX?, where we pick out a film currently playing on Netflix and review it for the fans.  This week's selection is the action comedy...THE DO-OVER.

Over the years, Adam Sandler's film career has taking a bit of a nose dive, with films like Jack & Jill, Grown Ups 1 & 2, and the Netflix exclusive film, The Ridiculous 6.  But Sandler's sophomore endeavor in his Netflix deal, The Do-Over, gives a glimmer of hope that his comedy career isn't completely dead.

The Do-Over tells the story of Charlie (David Spade), a down-on-his-luck bank manager looking for a way to make his life better.  Then enters Max (Adam Sandler), an old high school buddy who shows up and turns Charlie's life upside down.  After a crazy night, Max fakes both of their deaths, getting them brand new identities so they can both start their lives over.  But, little do they know, the people whose identities they took are in bigger trouble than they could've ever imagined.

The director of this film is Steven Brill, who previously worked with Sandler on Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds, brings us a story worthy (for the most part) of the Happy Madison name.  Mr. Deeds is one of my top 5 Sandler films of all time.  Brill managed to take an interesting premise and weave the comedic chops of both Sandler and Spade with some pretty decent dramatic tones.  The script comes from the team of Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas.  This is Pappas's first time writing a feature film, while Barnett previously wrote such films as The Heartbreak Kid and Hall Pass.

Sandler and Spade have such good chemistry together.  It doesn't matter if the film is good or bad, they always seem to fall into sync with one another, going all the way back to their days on SNL together.  Spade always seems to work best as the "straight man" in comedies, as he did with Chris Farley in Black Sheep and Tommy Boy.  I loved seeing them together in a film that actually made me laugh.  The guys were joined by two very talented ladies: Paula Patton and Kathryn Hahn.  Patton plays Heather, the wife of the man who Charlie impersonates.  She gave a great performance opposite Spade and Sandler, as her character, Heather, helped them to figure out who was after them.  The hilarious Kathryn Hahn played Max's crazy ex-girlfriend, who is more than meets the eye.

Now, don't get me wrong, this movie isn't a masterpiece in comedic filmmaking by any means, but it is a step up from Sandler's last collaboration with Netflix, the failed western-comedy attempt, The Ridiculous 6.  There are a few scenes in this film that seemed to go a bit too far, but only like 2 or 3, which is a big difference from many of his other films.  Overall, I actually had a pretty good time watching it and am hopeful for the other two films in this Netflix deal.  If he can continue to improve the way he did with The Do-Over, then perhaps we will finally see the comedic resurgence of Adam Sandler that all his fans, like myself, have been waiting for.

The Merc's Score:  6.5/10

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