Remote Failure

by Ian T. McFarland on June 23, 2006

in Movie Reviews 

So, does anyone out there realize how full of schlock Adam Sandler’s movies are?  It seems obvious to me that the scripts about learning a “valuable life lesson” that take the writing ability of a freshman in High School just recycle the same boring themes, but The Longest Yard grossed $158 million.  I guess either I’m to critical on the guy or America has a rather large idiot count.

1 Star

It’s been nearly 13 months since the innovatively not innovative Adam Sandler graced us with his presence on the big-screen, which is obviously far too long.  On average of once a year, Sandler pops out another flick guaranteed to gross north of $100 million to the delight of middle schoolers and the spite of people who know what quality cinema is.  Sandler continues the tradition with Click, a rehash of It’s a Wonderful Life, with more fart and dog-humping jokes to satisfy Sandler’s fan-base.

Sandler plays Michael, a guy who’s working a mile a minute without taking a time-out to spend with his pint-sized kids or his wife (Kate Beckinsale).  I’d go ahead and describe him to you some more, but you’ve already seen the father figure torn between working and spending time with his family a few dozen times too many in other movies as it is.

Michael’s on the verge of a breakdown until he wanders into Christopher Walken, in the back of a Bed Bath & Beyond in the hunt for a universal remote.  Walken, who I’m starting to believe doesn’t act anymore as much as just memorize lines and recite them through his bouncy dialect, gives him a remote that brings more to the coffee table than Michael bargained for, though – the remote somehow controls life outside of the tube.  That’s right, now Sandler can pause, mute or skip all of those crappy movies he puts out.

At first it’s wonderful, even though Michael decides not to take advantage of avoiding the aforementioned feature.  Instead, he uses the remote to fast-forward through important matters such as arguing with his wife and working – anything important he just skips.  You’d think that by now, Sandler would have figured out not to take the easy way out from all of his dull comedies that teach the longer road is more worthwhile; but the guy just seems unable to learn.

And so, to further the plot, the remote begins to automatically fast-forward through all of Michael’s life.  It becomes rather convenient for teaching life lessons, but overall it’s a pretty damn stupid contingency.

One catch of the film is that as Michael’s remote fast-forwards, we’re taken to that mysterious far-off place called the future, specifically the 2020s.  With this comes all sort of wacky hairdos, bright colors and walls that work as TVs.  If the script weren’t so dully put together, the film’s failure would have been promised with this idea of the years to come you might see at Tomorrowland in DisneyWorld a few decades ago.

The film’s one area of success is the casting of Henry Winkler.  Maybe it’s just this writer’s fond memories of seeing the veteran actor on Happy Days and Arrested Development, but the guy is heartbreaking as the father that Michael forgets.  It manages to give the film – dare I use such a cheesy word – heart?

Sandler has talent.  He lets himself out of his cage a couple of coveted times in the movie to make us laugh, and he proved in Punch-Drunk Love that he can act too.  But the guy just doesn’t care enough to push himself, Click is just another Sandler flick shoved into cinemas to make a fortune and then be forgotten.

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