The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
Director: Frank Coraci
Cast: Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia
Synopsis: An outlaw who was raised by Native Americans discovers that he has five half-brothers; together the men go on a mission to find their wayward, deadbeat dad.
Adam Sandler (50 First Dates) is probably the only person in the world who thinks Adam Sandler would be a good choice to play a white man raised by Native Americans, even in a winking, self-knowing comedy-Western like The Ridiculous Six. But then, this is a movie that has a black man who doesn’t realise he’s black, a rap-dancing Mark Twain, and a burro that performs fellatio, so perhaps his casting was intended to be ironic. Either way, it doesn’t really work: and it wouldn’t work, even if Sandler’s performance didn’t comprise of a one-note, near-somnambulistic gravel-voiced delivery. At least he’s surrounded by a large cast so that he doesn’t get quite enough screen time to derail the picture completely – although it does come perilously close to disaster.
Sandler’s character is called White Knife, and he’s been raised by the Chief of an Indian tribe since seeing his mother shot down in the street by a gunman. His real father is a legendary outlaw called Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte – Gangster Squad, Run All Night). Although Stockburn ran out on White Knife’s mother, he’s now sought out the son he never knew in order to make his peace before dying from a terminal illness. But no sooner have father and son bonded over an all-night chit-chat than Stockburn is abducted by Cicero (Danny Trejo – Death Race: Inferno, Machete Kills), Stockburn’s former partner in crime, who demands $50,000 for his safe release. White Knife sets about raising the ransom money by embarking on a Robin Hood style crime spree, stealing only from other villains. As he does so, he soon discovers that he has five half-brothers – a Mexican peasant (Rob Schneider – Little Nicky, 50 First Dates), who is the proud owner of a burro that suffers from projectile diarrhoea, a hillbilly half-wit (a surprisingly good Taylor Lautner – Abduction, Tracers), a near-Neanderthal moonshiner incapable of speech (Jorge Garcia – Cooties), a black saloon piano player (Terry Crews – The 6th Day) whose party trick is playing the piano with his old chap, and a former bodyguard (Luke Wilson – 3:10 to Yuma) whose dereliction of duty resulted in Lincoln’s assassination. Together, the Ridiculous 6 determine to free their long-lost father.
Sandler’s infantile brand of comedy has offended the sensibilities of so many people in the past that his name on the credits of a movie seems to be enough to guarantee a slaying by the critics, regardless of the quality of his work. I’m no Sandler fan (or apologist), but the vitriol directed at The Ridiculous 6 seems just a little over the top. Make no mistake, it’s a shapeless, undisciplined mess of a movie which seems to go on forever, but it’s not as painfully bad as a lot of people would like you to think. The quality of the comedy is variable, but there are some laughs to be found, and the film is off-the-wall enough to keep you watching just to see what it’s going to come up with next. While Sandler’s performance is a complete loss, the cameo turns by a host of stars provide some amusement, with the biggest laughs coming from Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction, Moonrise Kingdom) as a bad guy who literally loses his head, and John Turturro (Raging Bull, The Big Lebowski), as the man who accidentally invents baseball by changing the rules whenever anything doesn’t go his way. Nick Nolte is also fun as White Knife’s unrepentant old man.
Although it’s below average, The Ridiculous 6 probably won’t be the worst movie you see this year – but neither will it be one you’ll wish to see again.
(Reviewed 11th December 2015)