The Ridiculous 6 Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Taylor Lautner. Directed by Frank Coraci. Not rated. Available on Netflix.
Adam Sandler went through three movie studios over several years in his attempt to make his Western comedy The Ridiculous 6, but the final result (the first of a four-film exclusive deal Sandler made with Netflix) doesn’t exhibit any more passion or creative vision than the average production from Sandler’s lowest-common-denominator comedy factory Happy Madison. Although it does boast an actual concept beyond giving Sandler and his buddies a paid vacation, Ridiculous is still a lazy, slapdash exercise, with repetitive, stale jokes and a parade of one-dimensional characters based on cultural stereotypes.
Unlike Seth MacFarlane’s moronic A Million Ways to Die in the West, Ridiculous isn’t even particularly interested in mocking the conventions of Western movies or the historical Old West. It’s just another excuse for Sandler and his regular troupe to engage in the same obvious lowbrow humor while riding horses and wearing cowboy hats. Even worse, it drags on for two full hours, with numerous detours that seem to exist primarily to cram in appearances from everyone who’s ever worked with Sandler (including Vanilla Ice as Mark Twain).
Sandler gives a typically lethargic performance as Tommy, a white man raised by Apaches who discovers he’s the long-lost son of noted outlaw Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte). When Frank is kidnapped by a gang of bandits, Tommy gathers up Frank’s five other illegitimate sons (played by Rob Schneider, Taylor Lautner, Jorge Garcia, Luke Wilson and Terry Crews) to help rescue him. Running jokes include a burro with projectile diarrhea and vulgar names for Tommy’s fellow Apache (within the first five minutes, someone has referred to an Apache woman as “Poca-hot-tits”).
Indifferently directed by Sandler associate Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer, Click, Blended), Ridiculous is well-suited for the lowered expectations of home viewing (even the Western landscapes look bland). The best that can be said for the movie is that it’s not as offensive as it could have been, given the early controversy about the treatment of Native American characters. As in most recent Sandler movies, its main offense comes not from any specifically insensitive jokes, but from how little regard anyone involved seems to have for the viewing audience.