The Do-Over full movie review - It's Far From the Worst Thing Sandler's Ever Done But It's Not Anywhere Near His Classic Stuff Either
Adam Sandler's movies have been dropping in quality pretty steadily over the last few years. It doesn't make me happy to write that but if you can't see that by now, I don't know what to tell you.
Even his most dedicated supporters are coming to that realization. I loved a lot of his earlier movies (Happy Gilmore, Anger Management and even You Don't Mess With The Zohan) but it almost seems like he's given up. At least with Pixels he had a cool idea and while I didn't like the movie as a whole, there were parts of it I did enjoy (the video game character action scenes were interesting). I didn't have high hopes for The Do-Over but it did look like he was trying to do something different. After seeing it, I think people are overreacting, it's not as godawful as the critics have said, but calling it good is definitely a stretch.
*Minor Spoilers Ahead* Our main character is Charlie (David Spade), he's a banker at a bank inside a grocery store. He married the hot girl from high school and she cheats on him constantly. Her two kids from a previous marriage hate his guts and don't treat him with respect. He just wants a fresh start, the ability to try things again with a clean slate. He's at his high school reunion when he bumps into his old high school friend Max (Adam Sandler). Max has turned out okay, he's an FBI agent and after taking Charlie out on his boat, he's obviously not hurting for money. The next day, he wakes up in a hotel room tied to the bed. Max tells him that he needed a fresh start too, he's actually a coroner and he grabbed a couple of dead bodies from the morgue to fake their deaths. Charlie initially disagrees and goes back to watch his funeral where there are no tears shed and then to his house to see his wife cheating on him and then he warms up to the idea. He meets Max who is coincidentally watching his funeral and tells him he's in.
With movies I don't generally like, I start out with the positives. One of the reasons the quality of Sandler's movies have suffered is that he doesn't seem to have the same energy he used to. In The Do-Over he at least looks like that he's having fun hanging out with David Spade. Their friendship comes across and it helps the movie. I also thought they had an interesting premise here, the handling of it was another matter but it was interesting. I'll admit that I did laugh a few times during the movie. As opposed to the family friendly Pixels, there was a little more room to push the envelope comedy wise with the R rating and I think that also helped.
Now getting to the other side of the coin, while some of the material worked, a lot of it didn't. It wasn't so bad but to me it felt really outdated. There are a lot of homophobic jokes, a lot of sexist jokes and some gross out jokes. I wasn't offended by it, I just found it to be juvenile and unfunny. A lot of this stuff I thought we as the movie going public had moved past by now but if there's an audience that enjoys it, that's cool. It just didn't work for me.
When it comes to the acting, don't look for award worthy stuff here. I'll give David Spade credit for being passable. He works well with Sandler and he was okay. Sandler wasn't bad but I feel like I've talked about him enough. The disappointing part was seeing Paula Patton and Kathryn Hahn in this. Paula's an underrated actress (she was great in MI: Ghost Protocol) who is yet to get her big break (maybe it will be Warcraft?) and she just doesn't fit in this movie. I hope more projects come her way though. Katheryn Hahn is a genuinely funny actress but she's not given much to play with here and she can't help the movie. It was nice that Nick Swardson was actually pretty restrained here. He's usually in Sandler's movies to be made fun of but he was toned down considerably.
Most of the parts of this movie that are decent come in the start and the middle. By the time you hit the last half hour, the plot becomes a mess and the movie derails. I think if you're a fan of Adam Sandler's recent work, this will be a pleasant surprise. I largely agree with the critical majority though. This movie could be far worse but it's not nearly as good as Adam's classic stuff. If you watch the trailer and think it's crap, don't even attempt to watch The Do-Over, your mind won't be changed.