Adam Sandler Essay

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Adam Sandler has been a box-office draw for a decade now, with hardly a dip in fortunes since he first parlayed his break on TV's Saturday Night Live into a string of hit films. From the get-go Sandler was good on jokes about sports, six-packs and the need to stop goofing off and start playing nice with women. He made his success without any support from critics, many of whom seemed to find the frat-house element of his shtick so ghastly as to inoculate them against its sweet and silly aspects. It is unlikely that Sandler cares much for the views of festival-going connoisseurs, though he served notice on their carps by his seamless crossover into Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love (2002). "I wanted to work with Sandler so much," Anderson said. "I love him… He's always made me laugh." Sandler's Happy Madison production outlet ticks over nicely on the back of his own hits; less so when he exec-produces -- as if sadistically -- for his friend Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick, 2002, etc). After a mildly awkward patch at the start of the decade (including Little Nicky, 2000, and Mr Deeds, 2002), Sandler re-established himself in the nine-figure-grossing league with Anger Management (2003) and 50 First Dates (2004); and the director of those two pictures, Peter Segal, is also at the helm for Sandler's remake of Robert Aldrich's The Longest Yard. Alas, this is Sandler's most formulaic outing to date, the most by-rote script he has yet committed to. Aldrich's 1974 original, with prison inmates pitted against their guards in a game of American football, has always been a playground favourite (and was re-trod in 2001 as Mean Machine); its cult doesn't tend to outlast adolescence. But in 2005 that still offers the prospect of a decent aud... ... middle of paper ... ...g, but Hazen's threats for non-compliance are worse. Crewe befriends black inmate Caretaker and together they start to scout for large inmates willing, however unskilled, to go head-to-head with the guards. Training is awkward but Crewe gets a volunteer coach in fellow incarcerated NFL veteran Nate Scarborough, and adds pace by recruiting running back Megget and some initially suspicious black inmates. Hazen's spy, Unger, kills Caretaker with an incendiary device meant for Crewe. The game is broadcast live, and the cons start by exacting physical revenge on the guards, going 14-0 down before Crewe rallies them to tie the score by half time. Hazen threatens to frame Crewe for Caretaker's murder, and Crewe purposely falters as the guards take a three-touchdown lead. Realising he must redeem himself, Crewe drives the team to recover and win by an audacious final play.
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