Sandler and Spade Go To Puerto Rico
There’s a running joke in The Do-Over where Adam Sandler and David Spade add about ten years to their ages while talking to women. It’s supposed to make them seem more youthful in comparison to the number based on their actions. What it really does is exemplify just how little evolution and maturity that has occurred on the back half of their careers. This movie is tired, lazy and over 90 minutes of the same “surprise” jokes that usually payoff with someone getting shot, or a woman getting hit. Because in 2016, Adam Sandler is only interested in making himself laugh all the way to the bank.
The Do-Over follows Charlie McMillan (David Spade) as he leads a rather pathetic life. He works as a bank manager within his local grocery store, his wife openly cheats on him, and his twin step-sons physically abuse him. Through narration and his conversations with others, we learn that not only does he still live in the same house he grew up in, he also drives the same car he had in high school. Not an updated version, the exact same car. During his 25th high school reunion, he runs into old friend, Max (Adam Sandler) and the two reconnect over how life has decided to make them the Browns of their own personal Super Bowl. Which would make more sense if Max wasn’t in the FBI. At any rate, Max convinces Charlie to join him on a fishing trip in Florida where Max decides to fake both of their deaths in order to give the men a fresh start. It’s at this point where the already highly convoluted plot actually kicks in, as the replacement bodies used actually belong to two men that were supposed to be assassinated. With their names “back on the grid”, it becomes a race to find out why the men have been marked for death, and by whom before the deed can be carried out.
If all of that actually sounds appealing to you, don’t be fooled. The majority of he first act is dedicated to watching Sandler and Spade on what appears to be a Bud Lite sponsored fishing trip with some lines from the script thrown in. There’s the direct mention of Charlie having a preference for the beer, then a long transition where the only thing on screen is a “find your beach” style Corona picture (a Budweiser product), long shots of the two men using a Bud Lite kegerator, and yet more scenes where actors enjoy the nectar of NASCAR. Yes, the last few theatrical releases from Sandler were just excuses for he and his friends to go on vacation, but this time around he has the audacity to stream the party into our homes, and have corporate backing for the whole thing. There’s barely a movie here for the most part, just long strings of gay jokes and awkward encounters that are supposed to be shocking.
When Paula Patton’s character is introduced, to fit another running theme of women hating (at one point Sandler shoots a flare gun at some women that made fun of Spade’s penis), she is literally hit with a Winnebago as a way to get her attention. She’s basically in the movie to act as eye candy until she’s able to atone for the sins of every other woman in the film, by way of getting beat up by David freaking Spade.
In something of a shock, The Do-Over is actually better than Sandler’s first Netflix original, The Ridiculous Six, if only because the direction by long-time Sandler collaborator, Steven Brill is fairly competent. Some action scenes have glaring CGI issues, and a few shots last a little too long, but in all the movie clips along at a nice pace. It also has surprisingly more heart than expected, which Sandler has no problem turning on as exhibited in much better movies. There is a third act surprise that, I kid you not, includes a cure for cancer but also includes death by nipple clamps, and the exposed breasts of an elderly woman with dementia.
The Do-Over is another in the long line of Sandler films where he plays the same somewhat schlubby every man, that acts as if he is too cool for everything happening around him so that he may emit the least possible amount of effort as a character. Now, instead of an architect, or video game whiz, he’s Martin Riggs in Bermuda shorts. It’s all so lazy and uninspired, and the several BIG reveals at the end range from painfully obvious to ridiculously unearned. While your Netfix screen may be pushing this on you harder than any DARE propaganda prepared you for, don’t give in. Sandler has two more of these down the line, and The Do-Over should be his last “second chance”.