Stars: Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, Will Forte, Steve Zahn, Harvey Keitel, Nick Nolte, Jon Lovitz, Whitney Cummings, David Spade, Danny Trejo, Nick Swardson | Written by Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler | Directed by Frank Coraci
The Ridiculous 6 is a film of two firsts. It is the first parody Adam Sandler has made; and it is the first film in his four-movie deal with Netflix. It’s also, undoubtedly, one of the most controversial films of Sandler’s career… Even before it debuted there was news of its racist nature, the furore over the treatment of its Native American cast and, even worse, the cast walkouts. There are even those that say Netflix have lost their mind signing up Sandler – after all, many see Netflix as the home of “quality drama” such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, how dare they sully that good name by persuing a deal with a populist comedy performer such as Adam Sandler?!
I call bullshit. And that’s not the Sandler fan in me talking either.
Given the fact that Sandler’s films are some of the most viewed on the streaming service, it makes perfect sense that Netflix would make new Sandler flicks exclusively for themselves. And as for the racist nature of the film? There’s a word called satire. Look it up in the dictionary. For those unwilling to, let me say this, The Ridiculous 6 is a piss take of Tarantino’s forthcoming Western (as if you couldn’t tell by the title) and those Western’s that have come before it. It mocks the racial stereotypes of old and no one, be they white, Native American or even donkey, is safe from Sandler and co.’s mockery. Just like in Sandler’s previous movies…
The Ridiculous 6 tells that story of the titular sextet, the sons of cowboy and bank robber Frank Stockburn (Nolte), who is also the reason the group come together. You see their father has been kidnapped and the brothers must band together in order to steal enough money to free their deadbeat dad. Along the way the cross paths with Will Forte’s “left Eye Gang” and Abner Doubleday – played by John Turturro – who, in a long drawn-out scene, invents the game of baseball before the audience, and The Ridiculous 6′s eyes.
Surprisingly, and despite the well-written about apparent controversy, The Ridiculous 6 is actually one of Sandler’s more good-natured comedies. Gone are the overly-harsh jokes at other peoples expense and in comes more “family-friendly” laughs. OK, so there are a number of beastiality-themed jokes, and there’s still some racial stereotypes that are bound to offend the sensitive social justice warriors out there that can’t distinguish between real life and the movies, but for the most part this film is a pleasant satire on the likes of The Magnificent Seven in the same vein as Blazing Saddles (which this film mimics in in campfire scene, replacing beans with a fly).
Though to be fair, The Ridiculous 6 is no Blazing Saddles, it was never really going to be. I don’t think anyone can touch Mel Brooks’ Western spoof for the sheer amount of fun and laughs, but Sandler and his usual band of cohorts give it a damn good try. There’s no denying Sandler’s film is funny, even if you feel a little dirty laughing at some of the cheap humour within… I for one never thought I’d laugh so much at a donkey with exploding diarrhea. Or laugh WITH Taylor Lautner and not at him for once. In fact Lautner’s simpleton hillbilly performance was a stroke of comedy genius; and that’s something I never thought I’d ever say!
If you like Sandler’s particular brand of comedy, and I do, then you’ll probably enjoy The Ridiculous 6. Even if it’s overshadowed by the just-released and much better Pixels. If you’ve got Netflix and you’re a Sandler fan then definitely check out this absurd Western comedy.
The Ridiculous 6 is available now on Netflix.