“Ridiculous 6” desert of unfunny
Let me start by saying 2015 has been a really poor year for comedies. At least from the ones I’ve seen that is how I feel. I know every year there will be that one that is trying too hard to be gross or stupid just for a laugh. But from the ones I have seen, there has yet to be one that makes me think back to classics like Animal House or One Crazy Summer. Ones that don’t need to dig deep into the barrel just to force a chuckle. Bottom line, comedy needs a jump start or at least reminded what made movies like Shaun of the Dead great or plays like Noises Off enjoyable to watch. Though no doubt in saying “The Ridiculous 6” is a pure sign that humor doesn’t have to be so overly disgusting or overly sexist just to squeeze a laugh out of your throat. In fact, the only benefit I can think of after watching this is how Netflix’s online streaming is the only service screening it. And much like with Netflix’s streaming service, you can simply skip to another movie with ease. I hear “Ernest Saves Christmas” is on there. A FAR funnier movie than the hunk of dead air that came from my lips during this travesty.
The story goes is that Adam Sandler had a raunchy comedy satirizing westerns but studios passed for variety of reasons. After his company Happy Madison Productions agreed to a four picture deal, “Ridiculous 6” was the first to be made…with a budget of $60 million. Not to linger on production values too much but when you take into consideration the poor year Sandler had and the unfunny nature of the feature, its a no brainier why this never got picked up by a major studio. Part of me is curious to see what would have happened if this was in theaters. I’d be curious to see if anyone would laugh. But the more I think about it, the fact this movie is on Netflix does save $8.50 of an admission price.
The story deals with Sanlder playing a man raised by Native Americans named Tommy Stockburn. Before he is about to be wed, his father (surprisingly played by Nick Nolte) gets captured by a gang of bandits under ransom or something like that. As Tommy goes after him, he coincidentally runs into five people who reveal to be his step-brothers seeing his dad made whoopie with their mothers. The plan now is to steal from bad guys and raise enough dough to save him. And yeah, that’s about as basic as it gets.
Even if the plot sounds really bizarre and stupid, there is a lot of stuff they toss in to make it more dumb and stupid. Like the fact that Sandler’s character has super powers, one of the brothers (Taylor Lautner) is an annoying village idiot, the cameos ranging from bizarrely executed to not really interesting and the comedy is either way too low brow or just out of nowhere ideas. Sweet jesus, there’s a scene when this character played by Steve Zahn has to remove his right eye in order to join this gang. The joke is that his left eye is lazy and can only see good with his right. But after being insisted, he removes it with spoon and we see it done in shadow. I’ll give them credit that you don’t see any blood but the graphic details are there. I remember watching that and almost close to the point of vomiting on my desktop screen. And I’m not alone. I heard from a few friends of mine and some viewers that particular moments keeps them from getting father into the movie.
Well for those who couldn’t make it past that, let me address that you are not missing much. In fact, dare I say the whole movie isn’t worth watching. Because every joke they toss at you will either bomb or just have this bizarre context which doesn’t make any sense. No build up. No set ups. Just toss a random gag and see if it flies. Which to me is what I feel most comedies today seem to be doing. I can imagine the writing process being like “Oh hey, let’s put in a donkey that shoots diarrhea out like a machine gun. Because poop is funny. Oh, lets have a scene where Adam Sandler can morph into a tumbleweed because his character’s superpowers have no limit. Hey, why not have a scene when Taylor Lautner’s character is hanged but his strong neck prevents his death causing the audience to freak out in disgust.” Yeah, its just a string of random set pieces that really have no connection other than being part of the “oh, wouldn’t it be funny if we had this” category.
As far as the rest of the movie goes, its your standard Sandler trope fest. You have the Rob Schneider offensive stereotype character, the underdog wins cliche, the “consequences are icky” trope is kind of there, the standard filler of having a random plot point that tries to go somewhere but then abandons it, a bad song sequence and the list goes on. I feel like this movie is more of a series of events than an actual narrative. To describe it, I would have to talk about each scene and each gag that falls flatter than a dead horse being whipped.
Surprisingly, there are three times when I actually did laugh or felt amused in a sense. First was a small gag during a raid. Second was a scene when a poker game happens with General Custer as David Spade and Mark Twain in an unrecognizable Vanilla Ice. Not sense “Million Ways to Die in the West” has there been a weirder casting. But even stranger is how Vanilla Ice is able to be really funny even if the material he is given is not that good. And already I propose a crossover with these two and Gilbert Gottfried as President Lincoln. It would make for a funnier film. And the final time was a reveal with the one-eyed gang which was predictable but the delivery made it funny. But are then enough to make the movie worth seeing? No.
The only benefit of “The Ridiculous 6” is that, again, it never got released to theaters. And pray it stays that way. I almost feel like with this and “Million Ways to Die in the West” they tried to be the next “Blazing Saddles”. But what made “Blazing Saddles” funny was that it was making fun of the genre and how absurd the west was. They weren’t banking on one-note jokes and one-note concepts while filling that time with pointless jokes and gags only existing to serve the dumbfounded. Truly this is a soulless effort where the sets complement the tone as saloons feel like they were stolen from the trash bin of Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Dare I say “Back to the Future Part III” was a better Western comedy than this trash. And to those who disliked “BTTF Part III,” I triple dog dare you to see if you can last till the end credits with this movie. Because honestly deep down, I know you can’t. And for those who at least tried to sit through this and bailed out, you get a medal in books. Or at least some form of recognition for trying. Because this one is not worth any part of your time.
Posted on December 16, 2015, in In Theaters (Sort of) and tagged A Million Ways to Die in the West, Adam Sandler, Comedy, In Theaters, Netflix, Parody, satire, spoof, Steve Zahn, The Ridiculous 6, Western, Worst. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.