With very few laughs and a lack of any decent story, The Do-Over is another in the ever growing list of Adam Sandler disappointments.
After meeting again at a high school reunion, hapless Charlie (David Spade) is taken on an adventure by his best friend Max (Adam Sandler), on a quest to change their ever boring lives.
From a direction perspective, very little is achieved other than taking something that could have been interesting and ruining it. Although Steven Brills does attempt to take the Sandler brand in another direction, its fault lies squarely with an odd script and a fallback to more cliché jokes.
Brills attempts to tell a story more similar to a Judd Apatow comedy rather than a typical ‘Happy Madison’ production is brave but ultimately, doesn’t really work. Any drama embedded in the story is instantly underpinned by Sandlers typical stupidity which ultimately leaves you feeling like they could have done it better. This issue with basic plot balance is equally distracting as it is annoying.
From an aesthetic point of view, the locations are fairly interesting but you can tell that this is made on a Netflix budget rather have the backing of a larger studio. Although one could assume that this would give the writers and directors more of a push to get it right, The Do-Over is definitely not one to prove this point.
From a performance perspective, if you were to replace the leads with Jason Segal, Jonah Hill or even James Franco, this would already be a better film. Sandler and Spade are lifeless, clearly drained from the critical battering their last few films have taken. When you add this to the ever predictable call sheet, the result is a boring, chemistry-less production with little to no character depth.
Reviewing an Adam Sandler film is one of the most infuriating yet strangely enjoyable things to do. On one hand, most of his films are terrible and give you a lot to talk about. On the other hand is the knowledge that you are going to waste a couple of hours saying the same stuff as you did about his last release. Although The Do-Over tried to do something a little different, it ultimately ends up the same – terrible. 1.5 out of 5.