Review: The Do-Over
PLOT: A down-on-his-luck bank manager (David Spade) re-connects with an old high school buddy (Adam Sandler) who says he's an FBI agent. After a wild night of debauchery, the two fake their deaths in order to start their lives over again, only to find themselves in trouble with gangsters.
REVIEW: It's gotten to the point now where it feels like Adam Sandler is playing some kind of gonzo prank on his (few) remaining fans. As bad as his theatrical movies were – and they were bad they at least felt like movies. Sandler's new four-film Netflix deal is probably the ideal vehicle for him because now Sandler and his Happy Madison gang don't even have to worry about making something that's at least technically passable enough to play in a theater.
Despite all their big talk about doing theatrical-level films, Netflix's initial offerings (minus the acquired BEASTS OF NO NATION) haven't been anywhere near up to snuff with even the most modest mainstream movies. Sandler's latest, THE DO-OVER, is so schlocky and horribly assembled, there's no way even the most desperate distributor would have ever allowed this to be released.
Acting as a kind of bromance redux of KNIGHT & DAY, where Sandler is the Tom Cruise to David Spade's Cameron Diaz, THE DO-OVER has Spade as a meek banker with a horrible, trashy wife and violent step-kids, who's rescued from the monotony of his life by Sandler's dangerously unpredictable Max, who initially poses as an FBI agent and fakes his and Spade's death in order to escape their miserable lives, or so it seems.
Basically, it all comes down to a search for a magic, cancer-curing formula an evil pharmaceutical company is after, with Sandler being revealed as a kind of super-tough action guy, capable of knocking-off bad guys with a single shot while lobbing-off one liners. If it sounds somewhat different from the usual Sandler vehicle, it's really not. While a late-in-the-game twist tries to tug at the heartstrings, at one hundred and eight minutes THE DO-OVER is so poorly assembled that it's crazy Netflix even thought this was even fit for streaming.
Opting for a hardcore R-rated vibe, which means lots of cruel nudity (old people and Luis Guzman's hopefully fake testicles), dumb frat-boy humor, and massive amounts of homophobia, one wonders if Netflix even reads the scripts Sandler's company provides them with. It's little more than a collection of gags set in places the production was probably able to get tax credits from (parts of Florida and Georgia) mixed in with insane levels of product placement – with cans of Bud Lite, and Corona lovingly photographed in close-up.
The only surprising thing is that Sandler allows Spade to play the lead although in a nod to his ego Sandler is still catnip for the ladies, with even Paula Patton (slumming it big-time) as a femme fatale telling him that “she would have rather f**ked him” after sleeping with Spade. The gender politics of this thing feels like something out of another era, with Spade, in what's supposed to be a heroic moment, railing against all the horrible women he knows – with the only moderately likable female character being a half-crazed lunatic played by Kathryn Hahn. She's way too good for this, as is Michael Chiklis, who fills a cameo role that was likely intended for Sandler-regular Steve Buscemi, who luckily had the sense to stay away from this one.
It's hard to imagine Sandler's going to have any fans left once this contract with Netflix runs out, as the bar has been set so low even doing a terrible syndicated sitcom would be a step-up. This is absolutely incompetent film-making and the worst thing Sandler's ever been involved with – as implausible as that sounds all things considered. Hopefully he cranks the next two Netflix movies out quick so we can be done with him once and for all.