The Ridiculous 6 (2015)

The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
  • Time: 119 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Western
  • Director: Frank Coraci
  • Cast: Adam Sandler, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, Taylor Lautner, Steve Zahn, Harvey Keitel, Nick Nolte, David Spade, Danny Trejo


An outlaw who was raised by Native Americans discovers that he has five half-brothers; together the men go on a mission to find their wayward, deadbeat dad.


  • As I sat down next to her (we’ll call “her” Kathy for now) to put on something on Netflix, an all too familiar face came across the screen. “I love Adam Sandler,” she shrieked, which meant of course that that would be the movie featured for our weekly movie night. She saw that my face could eclipse the disdain I have gain for the Happy Madison production company. “You don’t find him funny?”

    I sat and wondered what she meant by the word “funny.” Funny in the sense that his content is hilarious? I knew there was a point where his movies were filled with gags and laughs. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, I mean this list can go on. Then came pictures that weren’t non-stop belly screamers, such as Anger Management, 50 First Dates, and Click, but we still enjoyed them. At some point, between his second attempt at drama (Reign Over Me) and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, something must have left Sandler’s body and replaced it with slapstick humor (old shit with newer, but shittier, shit?). But not just any kind. The kind that is targeted only for the simplest of minds. You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Jack and Jill, and That’s My Boy only spewed more nonsense, but there we were, throwing more money in hope that the 90s Sandler would wake up from a self induced coma and come out with something better than Pixels (it was a nice try though).

    All this circled my mind in milliseconds as Kathy asked that one question. “He’s ok,” I was able to muster out loud, which of course meant that she able to go forth and press play. I mean, how can you go wrong with a supporting cast including Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, Steve Zahn, Harvey Keital, Nick Nolte, Danny Trejo…(you see where this goes)

    This western follows White Knife (Sandler), who is out to save his deadbeat father (Nolte) from a gang of outlaws that have kidnapped him for a debt he owns. While he goes out on his journey, his comes across his other half brothers, all which have some sort of ridiculousness to them. One only speaks in gibberish, while another isn’t bright (but if you have looks like Taylor Lautner, let’s face it, you don’t really need them) and so forth. As they meet, they decide to team up and find their absent father in hopes of finding closure or love from him.

    I don’t know what Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West was, or what is in store for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, but this film was a bastard child of those two films conceiving a comedy. I’m sure that if you take out the bit of comedy that is found here and polish up the plot, a True Grit would have been found in the rubble. But alas, we get a bunch of cameos that provide no nostalgia or laughs, but instead brothers that bluntly agree to help White Knife just because they were brothers. If they hated each other or showed more hatred towards their absent father, that might have provided more enjoyable moment along their journey. The heist they commit along the way aren’t unique either, and Vanilla Ice as Mark Twain or John Turturro as Abner DoubleDay playing the first baseball game with the gang provided some smiles, but that’s as far as it’ll go.

    With Sandler still having three more movies to go with his four-movie deal with Netflix, you can only hope that this is his low point. It took him ten years to make this movie, and I’m sure we can be happy he achieved one of his life goals in completing this film. But please Sandler, not at the expense of movie night.

  • Charging The Ridiculous Six with racism is the stupidest response to a film I’ve come across in years. It’s like complaining Gone With the Wind wasn’t a weather report.
    Adam Sandler wrote and stars in a satire of American racism, the current scene and its historic roots. Rejecting its use of Indian stereotypy is senseless. How can you expose America’s anti-Indian tradition without showing the anti-Indian tradition?
    The first three shots establish that theme. Two signs read “No injuns allowed” and “Redskins keep out.” That reveals the white men’s inferior knowledge, humanity and spelling. His tradition of demeaning native Americans persists down to our own shamelessly stubborn Washington Redskins.
    Then the newspaper headline gloats “Cavalry Massacres Godless Apaches.” But as all the Sandler hero’s success is based on his “mystical shit” it’s clearly the Apaches who have a spiritual connection to the world and the whites who are the godless, driven by lust and greed. Topping it off, the newspaper’s smug reader has only one functioning eye — which he eventually plucks out to join the ill-fated Left Eye Gang, only to find his colleagues in fact duped him and preserved the eyes under their patch. Can’t trust those whites, man. They’re not the men of vision. Indeed, the bigot can’t figure what five sacks of flour at 45 cents each should cost. (Clue: $2.25). And he’s the superior race?
    In this white world you can’t even trust your father. When the six’s vagrant dad (Nick Nolte) proves to have duped his son Tommy the betrayal works on both the personal and the social levels. Tommy leaves him to heaven, or at least to what in the cave will find him, preferring the superior ethic he learned as White Knife from his real father, the Apache chief who raised him.
    As the bad father betrays all his sons first by abandoning them and their mothers, then by exploiting them, the present finds itself betrayed by the past that created its mythology and values. The 19th century bred the 20th which begat our 21st. America’s present self-conception derives from the 19th Century with its highly suspect and dangerous myth that the whites brought a superior civilization to the ostensibly savage Indians. White America brought modernity to the desert but — far worse — an arid, sterile materialism, religiosity and fatal savagery to the spiritual people they conquered. And still suppress.
    The positive alternative is the titular collection of brothers who join forces to save their unknown dad. A village idiot, a Mexican, a guilt-riddled honky drunk, a mute monster, a black, the converted Indian hero — this racial and class cross-section of unlikely brothers evokes the brotherhood of man that modern America continues to affront.
    To remind us that the western reflects our current culture the characters frequently slip into contemporary jargon and gestures. Like any period drama, it seems to be about the Then but it’s really about the Now. If we didn’t have a racist America we wouldn’t need — or get — a film that traces its roots back to the white man’s conquest of the frontier and its prejudice against any non-whites.
    Hence the Mexican with his beloved burro and the black piano-player who mercifully doesn’t know everyone knows he’s black so enjoys being used for music and sex. The Abner Doubleday scene offers exploited Chinese labourers, including one renamed Shortstop. As this scene dramatizes the beginning of modern baseball, the film embodies the roots of modern American racism. It’s a response to Sarah Palin’s brazen reaction to a black president — “Give us back our America.” — and the sad Donald Trump show that succeeded her. President Lincoln’s assassination signifies the death of the Republican ethic.
    So that’s what the film is doing. It shows racism to satirize racism. ”Just dumped some satire on you General,” Mark Twain tells General (“Leave the Indians to me”) Custer. But the film is not very good. The Magnificent Seven it’s not — nor set out to be. Too many jokes are puerile, like naming native women Never Wears Bra and Beaver Breath, which stoops to the level of the vile man’s “Poca-hot-tits.” So it’s Mad Magazine humour, without the sophistication and elegance of Mel Brooks. But still, it’s a responsible, ambitious, serious reminder of how racist American culture has been — and worse — continues to be. Hats off to Adam Sandler, and to his knee-jerk critics: “You must be joking.”

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