Among the many confounding things about Adam Sandler’s recent string of “movies” is that anyone involved musters the energy and interest to do them. When he serves as a co-writer/producer (which is usually) and makes deliberately terrible comedies like “Pixels,” “Blended,” the “Grown Ups” franchise (*shudder*) and “Jack and Jill,” we always get the same stuff, and it’s always lazy and/or mean: racial stereotypes, minimized women, insults about people who are less attractive or overweight, etc. If you are the one person still watching these for fun because you think they’re hilarious, please, please show yourself and explain it to me. Stupidity can be funny, but Sandler’s work isn’t stupidity. It’s making viewers the recipient of the bodily fluids expelled on screen.
“The Ridiculous Six” (really, really not to be confused with “The Magnificent Seven” or Tarantino’s upcoming “The Hateful Eight”) arrived Friday on Netflix; you’ve already heard about Native Americans walking off set because they were being disrespected, which was no surprise. Sandler’s films love disrespecting everyone who’s not him.
In this one, a pathetically generic, not-at-all-satirical Western that also includes a joke about “Home Alone,” Sandler plays White Knife. He’s a white man raised in the Apache community who’s engaged to a woman named Smoking Fox (Julia Jones) and the target of the affections of Never Wears Bra (who’s not identified on IMDB, so I don’t know who plays her), as Sandler’s characters always have to be studs. When the dad (Nick Nolte) he thought was dead returns to claim that he’s dying and wants to give White Knife (whose birth name was Tommy) his buried fortune but then gets kidnapped, Tommy W.K. winds up collecting an absurd collection of men (including Rob Schneider as a Mexican stereotype named Ramon Lopez) who turn out to be his half-brothers to rescue dad and make it back in time for his wedding. ’Cause Sandler’s never ended a movie with a wedding before.
By the way, White Knife says he doesn’t want to enlist any fellow Apache men to help because of how they’ll be treated by people they encounter, thus allowing the movie to move away from those marginalized characters entirely.
OK, enough of this. Let’s just identify 10 awful moments in this garbage (which, I admit, made me laugh about three times) and move on. In no particular order:
1. An enemy named Will Patch (Will Forte) calls White Knife “Kemo-slobby” and calls Smoking Fox “Poca-hot-tits.”
2. A burro has explosive diarrhea horizontally, which apparently means he likes you.
3. Five minutes later: more burro diarrhea. When you have a great joke, you can’t just make it once, I guess.
4. When White Knife tells his father, “I don’t want your money,” Sandler’s delivery couldn’t be blanker, without any of the history the character should be feeling. There was a time that he was a good actor (“Punch-Drunk Love”). That time is over.
5. Vanilla Ice plays Mark Twain. Vanilla Ice plays Mark Twain. Vanilla Ice plays Mark Twain. He calls General Custer “General Custard.” I mean, seriously.
6. Taylor Lautner plays an idiot (whose running joke is that he has three nipples) who remarks, “I’m a virgin unless you count canty-lopes.”
7. Danny (Luke Wilson) was Abraham Lincoln’s bodyguard and just left his post briefly to go to the bathroom. So original.
8. The guys spot a rock formation that looks like male genitalia. Only Chico (Terry Crews), the one black member of the group, isn’t impressed.
9. To kill time the movie features a sequence in which Abner Doubleday (John Turturro) teaches White Knife and crew to play baseball, making up rules as he goes along. This movie is 112 minutes. It does not need to be.
10. As Wyatt Earp, Blake Shelton enters the movie saying, “Alright alright alright.” McConaughey should sue.
‘THE RIDICULOUS SIX’
0.5 stars (out of four)
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