Times they are a changin’ and thus here I am with my first review of a movie released straight to Netflix.
They had these when I was a kid, 3.5 readers. They were called straight to video and they almost always involved bad action.
Anyway, this one’s a Western comedy starring Adam Sandler and here’s the OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING.
You know kids, there was a time when hearing “Adam Sandler” meant a guarantee the movie was going to be hilarious.
These days, I’m a little torn on the “Adam Sandler sucks” argument. I’m not sure if he, per se “sucks” or if the world has just changed a lot since his hey day in the 1990s and things people found funny back then aren’t what people find funny now.
After all, he’s never really deviated too far from the comedy formula that people used to love.
This one wasn’t his worst.
Sandler is sort of the straight man in this one. He’s Tommy/White Knife. Abandoned by his father (Frank Stockton played by Nick Nolte) and orphaned when his mother is gunned down, a young Tommy is taken in and raised by kindly Native Americans. There, he becomes fast with a blade, earning him his second name.
Long story short, Frank comes to visit and we learn that he’s in trouble with some desperadoes. He owes them $50,000. They’re going to kill him if they don’t get it.
So our hero sets on a mission to rob only other bad people to raise the money and along the way, is joined by five men, each one, as it turns out, the product of Frank’s illicit affairs across the West.
I’ll let you watch and find out who the brothers are and who plays them. Half the movie involves him meeting his brothers along the way.
I will say to my surprise, Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame steals the show as Lil’ Pete, the simpleton who was just on his way to the ice cream store when he ends up joining with Sandler. He does a pretty great goofy voice which provides most of the laughs in the film.
There are a lot of cameos. Steve Buscemi plays a barber who fixes every wound with a liberal dose of shaving cream.
Vanilla Ice plays Mark Twain, donning full Twain garb but still speaking like a rapper. Seemed odd, though I wonder if the joke is that Twain was the rapper of his day, or rappers are the Twain of our day. Either way, every generation has its share of writers pushing the envelope with their writing, though its done in different ways.
So let me put it this way. Probably not one you want to trip over yourself to stream, but if you don’t have much else to do, it’s worth checking out.