2015 / Director. Frank Coraci.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Let's face it. We all knew that THE RIDICULOUS 6 was going to suck. The only question was just HOW MUCH it was going to suck. The answer to that is; not at much as I had anticipated. It is the first of a four-picture deal that Adam Sandler has with Netflix and it has been released in a timely fashion to pre-empt Tarantino's upcoming THE HATEFUL EIGHT.
Set in the wild west at a time when the likes of Wyatt Earp roamed the land, THE RIDICULOUS 6 are a band of brothers who unite to save their long-lost father (Nick Nolte) who has been kidnapped by bandits. The 6 brothers embark on a robbery spree, stealing money from bad guys, to secure the release of their old man. The brothers are comprised of Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Terry Crews, Taylor Lautner, Luke Wilson and Jorge Garcia, and their exploits see them entangled in a series of escapades that range from the hilarious to the pitiful.
The first thing that struck me was the production design. A lot of detail has been put into re-creating a classic wild-west atmosphere and there's no doubt that it's a good looking film. The cinematography is INSANELY good and much too sophisticated to a film of this sort. The guy behind the camera is non-other than the legendary Dean Semler, whose work includes: MAD MAX 2, MALEFICENT, RAZORBACK, LAST ACTION HERO, WATERWORLD, APOCALYPTO and DEAD CALM (amongst so many more). He makes THE RIDICULOUS 6 look like THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.
The second thing that struck me was how awful the script was. The opening scene sets things off to a very bad start and immediately instils that sense of apprehension. It is a contrived and humourless scene that instantly plays for cheap laughs. It's poorly written, poorly directed and falls flat on its arse. Fortunately the movie begins to build some momentum and turns itself into a passable comedy with enough going for it to hold your attention until the end (well, mine anyway).
The ensemble of support players is incredible and such a brilliant showcase of talent makes THE RIDICULOUS 6 worth watching for them alone. They include: Harvey Keitel, Danny Trejo, Steve Zahn, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Will Forte, Jon Lovitz, John Tuturro, Nick Swardson, Blake Shelton and a micro appearance from Norm MacDonald. The credit roll also listed Dan Aykroyd amongst them, but I failed to spot him... OH and it would be remiss of me to forget Vanilla Ice, in a performance that just about steals the show.
To be honest with you, there's a hell of a lot to cringe about in THE RIDICULOUS 6, however there's plenty to laugh about too. Whether it's a camp-fire sing-along that feels like a vague homage to THE THREE AMIGOS, or a daft execution (hanging) scene... and perhaps an amazing piano solo from Terry Crews. When the jokes work, they really hit the spot. John Tuturro's appearance is actually one of the funniest things I've seen in a while and his performance, and complete comprehension of the comedy, is sublime.
The production of the film caused a stir when it was reported that Native-American actors walked off the set due to the depiction of their culture, and while this incident is true, it was also grossly exaggerated by the media. The fact is that more indigenous people stayed on and embraced the satire than those who didn't. And so heed no attention to that bloated rumour. THE RIDICULOUS 6 is ridiculous by name and it's ridiculous by nature. Sure the natives were lampooned (She Who Wears No Bra) but so was everyone and everything depicted in the film. It's a send up of the classic westerns of old and it plays for the cliches, conventions and tropes.
And so lets sit back and watch the flood of criticism and hate flow forth. I'm sure that IMDb, social media and message board are about to be pummelled with hate. Such is the fate of any Adam Sandler movie... but Adam can rest easy knowing that he's more talented than most of his naysayers, he's smarter and a fuck-load richer. You can be better than those peeps. Take THE RIDICULOUS 6 with a grain of salt. Accept that it's a shit movie and then loosen up and enjoy it for what it is.