The Do-Over review
David Spade’s Cinderella story
Over the years, world-famous actor/ producer Adam Sandler collaborated with director/ actor Steve Brill (Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds) on a handful of projects. For the former stand-up comic’s second film with Netflix, the streaming giant looked at Brill to tap back into the magic that made Sandler so popular over a decade ago. Even though The Do-Over gets off on the right foot with the popular actor letting David Spade (Tommy Boy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star) take a crack at protagonist, it eventually gives way to easy jokes reliant entirely on how crude director Brill can set up the shot. That doesn’t mean that one won’t enjoy The Do-Over, with the film surely pleasing Sandler’s faithful fans as the actor has ample opportunity to do what he does best—have a good time on camera.
Spade stars as Charlie, the manager of a bank inside of a Florida supermarket. He spends his days convincing people the bank is separate from the store, then his nights getting bullied by his wife and her two slowly-evolving children from her previous marriage to Charlie’s high school bully. He essentially becomes their equivalent of Cinderella and desperately wants to matter to somebody. Enter Sandler’s Max. Max reconnects with Charlie at a high school reunion and boasts about his exciting life as a spy. When the two old friends go yachting and their ship explodes without them on it, they reinvent themselves with new identities and begin a do-over on life.
The Do-Over begins interestingly enough. Sandler lays off the prideful immaturity and clown boy routine in order to try a more deadpan approach to his role—something of which costar Spade is better known for employing in his comedy schtick. The film unravels during the second act, however, with the plot changing from faking their deaths to procuring the cure for cancer. On top of all of this, the movie’s soundtrack features a poor, confusing selection of country music that would even distract the viewer during a transitional montage. The endless barrage of product placement is more excruciating than the demonstration in Jack and Jill.
Despite good intentions by pairing Adam Sandler up with collaborator Steve Brill, Netflix still hasn’t produced a film with Happy Madison they can boast after two attempts. Spade should have amused us with his sad-sack, Cinderella-type instead of trying to tap into a realistic character. Sandler begins with plenty of deadpan, but quickly lets gross-out humor take over at arguably too late in the film to establish such gags for the audience to feel receptive to them. The Do-Over began as an improvement to The Ridiculous 6, and gradually reverts to what made audiences so tired of paying for a ticket to an Adam Sandler movie. At least the influential streaming service hasn’t started charging admission.