Netflix Farts In Subscribers' Mouths With "The Do-Over"

Marking the second of four anticipated collaborations between Adam Sandler and streaming video behemoth Netflix, “The Do-Over” does the unlikely deed of making last year’s “The Ridiculous 6” look like “The Magnificent Seven.” Not only is the project’s only convincing element its incessant product placement (there’s Sprint, Budweiser, Sea-Band Nausea Relief, Diet Coke, Frito Lay, Corona, Top Ramen, David Sunflower Seeds, and American Express, and that’s just the film’s first twenty-five minutes), it’s as cruel as it is unfunny, marking one of the more hateful entries in Sandler’s oeuvre to date. It also possesses the cut-rate production values of a premium cable skin flick.

In this white male hero fever dream where all women are either crazy, whorish, malevolent, or all of the above, Sandler stars as Max, a sad-sack guidance counselor playing pretend as an FBI agent. At his 25-year high school reunion he recruits fellow loser and long-lost friend Charlie (David Spade) to join in on his escapades. Charlie – grocery store bank branch manager with a promiscuous wife (Natasha Leggero) and two horrible teenage sons – is all too happy to go along with Max’s shenanigans. They soon fake their own deaths, inadvertently assume the identities of two mob targets, and set out on an adventure that’s the comedic equivalent of being whomped in the face with a pillowcase full of nickels.

Over the course of 108 godforsaken minutes, director Steven Brill (“Little Nicky”) and screenwriters Kevin Barnett (“Hall Pass”) and Nick Pappas (short-lived Fox sitcom “Unhitched”) treat us to such riotous moments as Charlie purposefully hitting newly widowed Heather (Paula Patton) with his Winnebago, Max taunting a German hitman with a maelstrom of gay jokes, and a threesome ending with testicle sweat on someone’s face.

If not for reeking like just another tossed-off Sandler joint in a long lineage, “The Do-Over” might have been interpreted as an elaborate study in revolting, regressive cinema – now beamed directly into your home! The ultimate twist in the story is almost unbelievable in its ugly stupidity, one that gets more disgusting the longer it’s pondered. Spoiler: Max has cancer, turning his adventures with Charlie into a quest for the cure. Another spoiler: They find the cure! These two dunderheaded losers bring the world the cure for cancer and everything’s great again! Probably not for women or minorities who are reliably treated like waste throughout the film, but at least for white men.

Comedy doesn’t require political correctness to be of value (e.g. the works of Mel Brooks, Eddie Murphy, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jody Hill, Amy Schumer, et cetera), but “The Do-Over” is nothing but backwards juvenilia, without a single thing on its agenda but inborn, unthinking repulsiveness. It’s sad to see a couple of extremely talented people caught up this this night terror (Kathryn Hahn chief among them); it’s even more disheartening that Netflix subsidized it in the first place. If there’s a saving grace it’s that no one will be leaving his or her home to see it, able to experience the misogyny from the comfort of his or her own gaming chair.

If Adam Sandler’s been in worse films (“Blended” comes to mind), at least he’s finally made the thing he’s been building to his entire career: an R-rated movie for 5 year-olds. Apologies, 5 year-olds.

Rating: ★ out of ★★★★★ (Very Bad)

Release Date: May 27, 2016
Studio: Netflix
Director: Steven Brill
Screenwriter: Kevin Barnett, Nick Pappas
Starring: Adam Sandler, David Spade, Paula Patton, Kathryn Hahn, Nick Swardson, Natasha Leggero, Sean Astin, Luis Guzman, Matt Walsh, Catherine Bell, Michael Chiklis, Torsten Voges
MPAA Rating: Not Rated