By John Magee
With properties such as “Marvel’s Daredevil” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” the title of “Netflix Original” has gained a certain assurance of quality. However Adam Sandler’s newest Netflix original movie “The Do-Over” has proven that nothing is assured when it comes to movies.
What is most disappointing about the movie is the opening, because for first 15 minutes it seems like a genuinely interesting story about where people end up in life, and what it would mean to be able to start over. However it very quickly devolved into what Adam Sandler movies excell in, lazily written insults treated as jokes, poor acting and cameos from more successful comedians.
The plot of the movie is fairly simple, Charlie McMillan has the same job, car, and house he did in high school. He married the prom queen but it’s very clear she isn’t interested in him and spends most of her time with her ex-boyfriend the prom king.
Charlie’s old high school friend Max takes Charlie out for a night of drinking and fun and in the process fakes both their deaths and gives them new identities. The man who Charlie is now pretending to be was a cancer research doctor who had the cure for cancer, the men who killed him are now after Charlie and Max so the two need to find the cure and keep it out of the wrong hands.
While it may have been true in mid-nineties that Adam Sandler and David Spade as leads in a movie might have meant a great combo that star-power has long since fizzled out. While Spade has some moments of genuine emotion throughout the film Sandler’s face screams of disinterest. Whether his character is supposed to be having the time of his life, or is about to be tortured by a hitman or even when he is literally given the cure for cancer the only feeling Adam Sandler conveys is one of apathy, and to disguise that apathy the movie is filled with uncomfortable nudity, empty shouting from Sandler and the appearance of far better comedians and actors wasted with bit roles.
Near the end of the movie there is a twist as to who the main villain is, which was only surprising because there was simply no set-up done whatsoever to make the twist make any sense. Rather than bringing my attention back to the plot, like I imagine it was created to do, it instead only showed me how little I cared for any of the characters in this movie.
Most movies that turn one of their protagonists into antagonists usually have me questioning their motives or what would make a character want to act that way, but seeing it done in “The Do-Over” made me thankful because a twist like that must be a signal that the movie was coming to an end. Netflix has categorized this movie as an Action Comedy, and I can only find myself agreeing with this, if the action they are referring to is switching to a different movie.