There’s no way to put this lightly: Adam Sandler fucking hates you. That’s the only explanation for his increasingly apathetic cinematic entries. Sure, it’s not he’s been actively trying for years, but even now it seems like he’s just given up with any pretense of effort. And audiences have finally started catching on. After his last few films failed to meet their box office expectations, Sandler bolted the traditional theatrical market to secure a deal between Netflix and his Happy Madison Productions. The first of their four-picture deal, The Ridiculous 6, hit the streaming service today. Even with rock bottom expectations for a Sandler film, The Ridiculous 6 represents a new low for Sandler and company. This is a film with such a jarring and torturous sense of humor that one is left wondering just who this movie was made for.
The plot, if we’re being generous in calling it such, revolves around White Knife (Sandler), a man raised by Native Americans following the murder of his mother. White Knife is set to marry Smoking Fox (Julia Jones) and seeks the council of Screaming Eagle (Saginaw Grant), his surrogate father figure. When his biological father Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte) appears and is suddenly kidnapped, White Knife ventures out on his own to raise the $50,000 to secure his missing father’s freedom. Along the way, though, White Knife soon learns that Frank has planted his seed all over the West, and has five new brothers – Lil’ Pete (Taylor Lautner), the dimwit; Ramon (Rob Schneider), the Mexican; Chico (Terry Crews), a musician who is finally able to be open about his black ancestry; Danny (Luke Wilson), a former bodyguard for Abraham Lincoln; and Herm (Jorge Garcia), a grungy hermit who speaks only in grunts. Meanwhile, the newly dubbed Ridiculous 6 are being followed by the Left Eye Gang, led by Will Patch (Will Forte). What follows is an assortment of dick and fart jokes spattered in with some stunt casting of various historical figures, though the film is relatively light (compared to expectations) on the racism that sparked multiple Native American actors to walk off the set during the film’s production.
As the lead, Sandler can’t even be bothered to pretend that he’s awake. He continually sleepwalks through scene after scene, his gravely vocal inflection going in and out is just a surefire sign of his indifference. Having produced the film and co-written its script with Tim Herlihy, who co-wrote Sandler’s Pixels earlier this year, this is Sandler’s show through and through. All the blame lies squarely on his shoulders. Not that he cares as he sits in sweatpants counting his money while poor critics like myself are forced to sit through his latest cinematic hate crime. Director Frank Coraci, who’s helmed a number of films for Sandler, sneaks in a few interesting shots in between the lackluster effects shots and deadened conventional shots. On the page and on the screen, The Ridiculous 6 is full of overwhelming apathy.
The sense of humor of The Ridiculous 6 brings is as mind-boggling as Sandler’s ability to get excellent actors to debase themselves in this listless affair. At once, the film is too juvenile for adults to laugh at and too vulgar to appeal to children. This tragic film swallows the talents of Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Chris Parnell, Danny Trejo, and many others that are much better than this. The Ridiculous 6 also gives screen time to those who are worthy of the film’s shameful material, like Vanilla Ice as Mark Twain. But, hey, if you ever wanted to see Steve Buscemi stick his hand up a donkey’s ass, The Ridiculous 6 is for you. That very same donkey is given multiple scenes that feature its projectile diarrhea, so the animal kingdom is as thoroughly debased as their human counterparts.
There’s absolutely no reason that this piece of cinematic excrement should run at nearly two hours, yet The Ridiculous 6 does just that for reasons that make little narrative sense, Sandler and company have an extended baseball scene with Abner Doubleday (Turturro) as he invents the national pastime. The joke is that Doubleday is making up the rules as he goes along, but it also feels like this whole thing was written on the fly, possibly inked in shit itself.
Of course, the aforementioned racism does exist in The Ridiculous 6. All the Native American characters, some besmirched with such names as Beaver Breath, speak in an absurd broken English. The white characters refer to a certain character as “Poke-her-hot-tits,” blending misogyny and racism in line so succinct that it encapsulates the rank garbage that is The Ridiculous 6.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the stockholders of Netflix asked the company’s hierarchy to just cut their losses and pay Sandler not to fulfill his contractual obligation. This is such an ugly, hateful film lacking in any and all humor that it does more to tarnish the brand of Netflix than if the streaming service had suddenly decided to become dedicated to nothing but snuff films. Sandler’s contempt for the audience and his indifference to actually putting forth effort has never been more obvious. The Ridiculous 6 has no reason for existing other than Sandler padding his pockets while appearing before the camera in a narcoleptic state, his loathsome subconscious bubbling to the forefront in his dream state. There’s no reason to view The Ridiculous 6 besides morbid curiosity or examining the state of American racism in the age of Donald Trump. But for those feeling especially masochistic, there’s even a post-credits scene to add further insult to injury. This is a low point even for Sandler, and that’s saying something awful.