It has been a long time since Adam Sandler graced the big or small screen in a meaningful or funny way. The Do-Over may be his worst movie to date, despite a seemingly promising premise. It follows Charlie (David Spade) a man that runs a bank in a grocery store (old ladies ask him where food goes but he works in a bank, get it?) and Max (Adam Sandler) a slacker and friend of Charlie’s from way back when. They reconnect at their high school reunion where Charlie feels emasculated by his wife and her ex-husband. Before long Max is spinning lies, fakes their deaths, and the duo start a new life in a Panamanian mansion.
Just when it looks like things might get interesting with Max and Charlie living off the wealth of the men whose bodies were used to fake their own deaths, things go south horribly fast. The two are caught in a web of deceit and poorly executed action sequences on a quest to find the cure for cancer. I understand, dear reader, if you stop reading now. I almost turned Netflix off at this point. It stinks!
As an action-comedy, The Do-Over fails on both counts. Sandler is still devoid of the goofy charm that made him so popular all those years ago, and as the straight man, Spade has nothing to work off of. The action/conspiracy part of the story is so dumb, it is overly convoluted, the action is poorly done and takes up too much time. There is little attempt at humour once the action kicks in full force halfway through this nearly two-hour long train wreck. Once the attempts at jokes dry up the plot is so dull and unintentionally stupid that there is little reason to continue watching. Even the crude humour is so inconsistent it is perplexing. In one scene two gorgeous women flash the boys their “pairs”, and a few minutes later Sandler is watching Spade having a threesome with a tramp from the bar and the shot-boy (Luis Guzman). The woman is almost fully clothed while the boys are pleasuring her from both ends before they switch positions and Spade gets Guzman’s ball sweat on his face. The audience gets a full on view of Guzman’s ball sweat dripping on Spade in the least funny way possible. While jokes are attempted about Spade’s involvement in this threesome, nobody questions Sandler sitting there watching the event unfold.
The action centers around the un-dynamic duo being chased and shot at by a German guy known only as the gymnast (Torsten Voges) as they track down the wife of one of the identities they stole in their quest to find answers, and of course, the cure for cancer. It’s all very forced and unconvincing, despite Voges’s flips and cartwheels which add nothing to very bland by-the-numbers Hollywood shooting. Even the torture scene comes off as contrived, as if the gymnast must like torturing people in the butt while he electrocutes himself just because he is German. There is just nothing in the serious plot that manages to heighten the drama, but there is an abundance of soul crushing boredom.
Despite concepts and ideas that should be funny or dramatic, there is no execution anywhere that allows any jokes or action to have any impact on the audience. As things go on they get more and more absurd, and fewer attempts at humour are made in place of the dumbest conspiracy to ever grace the small or big screen. When the credits started to roll at long last, the words going through my mind were not from the film, but a quote from Futurama’s robotic Calculon, “That was so bad I think it gave me cancer.” Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see a doctor.
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