The Ridiculous 6

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the Old West era, a calm man named Tommy Stockburn (Sandler) is raised by Native Americans, where he is named “White Knife”, due to his tendency to use knives. He is due to marry a Native girl named Smoking Fox (Jones). He has a run-in with a gang of bandits with eye patches on their right eyes, led by Will Patch (Forte), and manages to outsmart them and a deranged, Native American-racist food proprietor named Clem (Zahn), whose left eye is badly dysfunctional. At his Native village a bank robber named Frank Stockburn (Nolte) comes by, claiming to be Tommy’s biological father. Tommy explains to Frank that his mother was shot by a silhouetted man with tattoos on his hand when she was escorting him to school during his childhood, something that has haunted his dreams since. Frank also tells Tommy that he is dying of consumption, but that he has amassed $50,000 and buried it in a meadow next to a pine tree, which he offers to Tommy and the Natives. The next day, a group of bandits with connections to Frank come to the village, led by the ruthless Cicero (Trejo) who want Frank to give them his “big score” he gained a while back. Frank has the bandits kidnap him so he can lead them to the $50,000 at the so called “Singing Windmill” at Jawbone Fall, in return for the bandits not attacking Tommy or the Indians. With no time to search the meadow and find the money, Tommy decides he must find another way to obtain it and save his father.

Tommy sets out on his quest to regain his father and decides that the best way to gain enough money is by stealing it. However, because his tribe does not condone theft and claims it is dishonorable, Tommy instead opts to steal from those who have no honor, leading him to target corrupt politicians, racist bankers, and thugs alike. During his quest, Tommy discovers that he has 5 half-brothers; Mexican burro rider Ramon (Schneider), whose innkeeper mother Frank had a fling with; mentally challenged yet happy-go-lucky Lil’ Pete (Lautner), who has a strong neck that makes him immune to hanging; feral mountain-man Herm (Garcia), who speaks incomprehensibly; guilt-ridden drunkard Danny (Wilson), who served as a bodyguard for Abraham Lincoln until accidentally leading John Wilkes Booth to murder him; and African-American saloon pianist Chico (Crews), who confesses to be only 50 percent white; all of which join Tommy. Meanwhile, Clem joins the eye patch gang in hopes of finding Tommy to take revenge on him after Clem removes his only functional eye (since the other eye patch wearers claim that removing the right eye is part of the gang’s way) before they kidnap Tommy’s fiancee, though she manages to escape them due to Clem’s poor eyesight and heads out to find Frank. When meeting Chico and Danny, they run with Chico’s boss: the aggressive, always smiling saloon owner Smiley Harris (Keitel), who was part of Frank’s gang until Frank stole his cut of their biggest score and left him to die at the windmill. He owns a large golden nugget the brothers steal after Ramon, while riding his burro, accidentally decapitates Smiley with a shovel from behind just as he is about to shoot the brothers as revenge against Frank for his betrayal, though Ramon was only trying to knock him out.

While relaxing in a pond, Clem and the eye patch gang show up and while the brothers manage to overpower them, the gang manage to steal the money the brothers stole. Hope isn’t lost for the brothers, as Herm (through Tommy’s translation) tells them that a gambler named Ezekiel Grant (Lovitz) is hosting a gambling game with Mark Twain (Ice) and General George Armstrong Custer (Spade) in Yuma. After successfully robbing the poker game, they head out to ransom their father. As dusk falls, Tommy realizes (through a photograph carried by Danny) that it was Cicero who murdered his mother. Not wanting to put his brothers in harm’s way, Tommy sets out alone in the cover of night to rescue his father and confront his mother’s killer. After paying the ransom, Cicero decides to part ways but Tommy insists on getting his revenge. Having successfully killed Cicero, the half-brothers (who followed Tommy) have a reunion with their long lost father. Realizing that Tommy’s group now have $100,000 after rescuing the Left-Eye Gang and getting their original $50,000, Frank double crosses them, revealing that he was in cahoots with Cicero for an easy $50,000. Tommy then reveals that their group also has a Plan B: a hidden bomb inside the bag containing the ransom money. When the bomb explodes and commotion ensues, Frank runs off with Smoking Fox (whom his group has been holding hostage) inside a mine. Tommy runs after them and successfully rescues his bride-to-be and captures his father. Also, in the process of the fighting, the Left-Eye Gang accidentally reveal that they lied about removing their right eyes, much to Clem’s outrage.

Back in the Native Village, Tommy weds Smoking Fox with his brothers in attendance. Since the revelation that their biological father Frank Stockburn was no more than a two-bit crook, the Native chief decides to adopt the half-brothers as he did with Tommy

REVIEW:

With the apparent flop of Pixels, it is safe to say that Adam Sandler is not the box office draw he once was. Sure, he still brings a certain crowd to the movies, but that number is dwindling with each carbon copy film. Enter Netflix! Now those that want to see Sandler movies, but not pay outrageous prices for utter crap can watch at the push of a button. The first film in Sandler’s deal with Netflix is The Ridiculous 6. Now, will this new deal reinvigorate Sandler or are we destined for more of the same?

What is this about?

A white man, Tommy, raised by Indians is approached by his long lost father who tells him he needs $50,000 or he’ll die at the hands of his former gang. Tommy goes on an incredible and ridiculous journey picking up his other 5 new brothers on the way in a race to save their dad.

What did I like?

Brother from another mother. 6 guys all without a father. What ties them together? Well, it turns out that the same guy was with all of their mothers. In a drama, this would make for some interesting deep character study, but for a comedy, an Adam Sandler one, at that, it just makes for some interesting casting choices. What was intriguing about all of the brothers is how each has their own specific characteristic and they aren’t just clones of each other or their father.

A little history. Believe it or not, there is some history in this film. We get a short telling of the murder of Abraham Lincoln and then meet General Custer, Mark Twain (Vanilla Ice, really?!?), Wyatt Earp, etc. I sincerely doubt that these men were ever in the same room together, but it is always nice getting that “what if” moment. If you’re one of those people citing historical inaccuracies, I have to question if you even know what kind of movie this is!

Made for the west. Recent westerns have shown us a more rugged, realistic look to people, as opposed to the flawless hygiene that we have become accustomed to with the shows and movies of the late 50s and 60s. This brings me to Nick Nolte. At one point in time, he was a heartthrob, a leading man, if you will. These days, he’s just a grumpy old codger. The kid of guy that fits perfectly in the old west. Someone needs to snatch him up and cast him in the next western in production, because he looks the part, already!

What didn’t I like?

Sandler humor. I’m not some guy that insists on highbrow, cerebral humor. I’ll laugh at fart jokes ’till the cows come home. That being said, when said jokes are done in every…single…film…one gets tired of them. For me, as a Sandler fan, it is getting harder and harder to laugh at his films. He uses the same juvenile humor in everything he’s in. There have been two or three times he hasn’t. Hotel Transylvania (which technically isn’t his film), Spanglish, and there was a drama with Don Cheadle about the World Trade Center bombing that he was in, but the title escapes me at the moment. The guy can do something different, he just doesn’t seem to want to.

Cry wolf. No one else in Hollywood will cast Taylor Lautner, except Adam Sandler. I have nothing against the guy, other than he was in that franchise that shall not be named (side note…the actress playing Smoking Fox also was in those horrid films). My problem is that this is a stupid character. Think Gomer Pyle and take away about 100 IQ points. If there needed to be a dim one, that’s fine, but this was just a bit too much. I was questioning whether he had been hit in the head a few times or kicked by some horses more than we are privy to know.

Hero for hire. Ever notice that in all of Sandler’s movies he is the hero? He typically has the best life, or will have by the end of the film, the hottest wife, etc. Talk about an ego! Admittedly, if I were writing a film for myself, there would be at least one time that I would save everything for myself, but not everytime. What makes it so bad here is that I cannot believe Sandler as an old hand of the west. Luke Wilson and he should have traded roles.

Final verdict on The Ridiculous 6? Well, The Magnificent 7 it ain’t, that’s for sure. It was nice to see Sandler and Rob Schneider working together again (apparently, they had a falling out at some point). As you can guess, Sandler has all his buddies in here at some point, including his wife and one his sons! Eh…at this point, it is what it is. I don’t have much to say about this flick, other than it kills a couple of hours and isn’t boring. Do I recommend it? No, if you’re in the mood for a comedy western, go watch A Million Ways to Die in the West. It isn’t that much better than this, but at least it doesn’t feel lazily slapped together by someone who got drunk one night.

2 out of 5 stars

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