Review: The Ridiculous Six

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

PLOT: A man (Adam Sandler) raised by Native Americans sets out to rescue his long-lost father (Nick Nolte) after he's kidnapped by bandits. Along the way he meets up with five men (Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner & Terry Crews) who happen to be his brothers.

REVIEW: When struggling my way through THE RIDICULOUS SIX I had a thought. What if Adam Sandler, tired of his string of bad comedies, decided to aggressively make his films as bad as he possibly could in some kind of bold attempt at performance art. If we imagined this were somehow a fact then in a way THE RIDICULOUS SIX would be some kind of masterpiece. Of course, the reality is far more pedestrian. The reason Sandler keeps making garbage is because – despite diminishing returns – his movies still make money. And that's why Netflix, in an attempt to make themselves a full-fledged film studio, signed Sandler to a gruesome four picture deal that all but guarantees us another three movies just as bad as this – God help us all.

THE RIDICULOUS SIX is really a new low for Sandler. This summer's offering, PIXELS, wasn't good but at least it had the germ of a good idea to it and some moderately OK moments. By contrast, this is Sandler at his very worst, unchecked by a studio with even a moderate interest in good word-of-mouth. That's why this runs an interminable two whole hours, with such a staggering slow pace that had any studio produced this they would have at least made Sandler and director Frank Coraci cut it down as much as they could to save us all from the torture of sitting through it.

In an effort to make this a somewhat legitimate film, THE RIDICULOUS SIX has been made to at least look like a feature with widescreen 2:35:1 compositions by Dean Semler, who also shot PAUL BLART MALL COP 2 but also, in his day, shot DANCES WITH WOLVES and THE ROAD WARRIOR. Despite a rumoured $60 million budget, this still feels like something less than a full-on feature, with TV-style pacing, making it feel more like a mini-season of twenty-minute episodes strung together rather than a film.

As usual for Sandler, the jokes range from sophomoric to offensive. There's nothing wrong with being offensive if you're funny – BLAZING SADDLES proved this. But THE RIDICULOUS SIX is no BLAZING SADDLES. To give you an idea what kind of movie this is, all the native Americans speak pidgin English that seems pinched from a 1930's b-western, although of course Sandler, despite having been raised by Natives, speaks normally. The Native women are all gorgeous, with names like “Smokin' Fox” or “Never Wears a Bra.” Rob Schneider plays a hideous Mexican stereotype who sings songs like “Under the Taco Tree” and is followed around by a burro that sprays diarrhea.

Even worse is Taylor Lautner, who should fire his agents for getting him a job playing a (presumably) mentally retarded country bumpkin, that makes Ben Stiller's intentionally offensive Simple Jack from TROPIC THUNDER, seems like a method-like portrayal. Lautner is embarrassingly awful and you have to feel bad for the young actor having let himself get talked into this. As for Luke Wilson and Jorge Garcia, they're a long way from Wes Anderson or Lost but at least Garcia gets to hide behind a big beard and doesn't have to talk. The only one who has even marginally good comic timing is Terry Crews, who somehow manages to walk away from these Sandler films unscathed.

Adam Sandler does what he normally does, in that he sleepwalks through the film, looks tired, and doesn't even really participate in any jokes or one-liners by staying as passive in front of the camera as he possibly can. At times his grimace seems to suggest “yeah, I know this is bad but whatever – why are you even watching anyways?” I guess he has a point. His usual cronies show up in small parts, with Steve Buscemi and John Turturro still dazzling loyal to him to the point that they seem to at least be trying. Vanilla Ice (as a rappin' Mark Twain), Blake Shelton (Wyatt Earp), David Spade (General Custer) and more show up just long enough to to collect what I hope is a good paycheck and move on.

After several years of reviewing awful Adam Sandler movies, the question often comes up, why do we even bother covering them? I guess the reason is that if people keep spending huge sums to make them instead of something even moderately more deserving, than we should still take the time to rightfully criticize them. And Sandler, let's not forget, wasn't always awful and has talent. He just really doesn't care anymore, and to that end, neither should we. Hopefully companies like Netflix will stop pouring resources into such worthless product. This doesn't just scrape the bottom-of-the-barrel, it breaks through it.


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About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.