The first of a six-picture contract between Netflix and that curator of crude Adam Sandler, “Ridiculous Six” is lazy satire of a genre that’s been mined for such far too much. Sandler’s long-time cohort Frank Coraci provides the occasional guilty pleasure like an accidental decapitation or the bumbling antics of a poser gang, but their latest collaboration is mostly a waste of time, even for a nightcap on the couch.
Seemingly preferring to let his friends do the mugging, Sandler has once again cast himself as a cooler-than-thou hero surrounded by buffoons. He’s the knife-wieldin’ orphan raised by injuns who can sometimes perform feats of “mystical shit,” taking out a slew of bad eggs in seconds, and other times can only stand there and scowl, humorless in a movie that’s already pretty laugh-free. On a mission to find his mother’s killer, he accidentally recruits Rob Schneider’s donkey-lovin’ Mexican, Jorge Garcia’s burly caveman, Luke Wilson’s wily drunk, Taylor Lautner’s virgin man-child, and Terry Crews’ gentle giant. These walking caricatures turn out to be half-brothers and the sons of a former outlaw (Nick Nolte) who spread his seed far and wide, and when said father is taken for ransom, these misfits band together to find dear ole’ dad. It’s a standard issue western plot that only comes alive when the gang happen upon unexpected cameos like John Turturro as the inventor of baseball or David Spade as General Custer, a blonde windbag who’s tired of people calling him “Custard.”
Not so surprisingly, the majority of the humor is expected, or slapdash to the point where it’s difficult to ascertain whether what just happened was a joke or an awkward editing mistake. Take Vanilla Ice as a spry, anachronistic Mark Twain, rappin’ and fist-bumpin’ Wyatt Earp over a game of poker, a perfect display of tone-deaf comedy if I’ve ever seen one. Sandler and co. couldn’t even muster a diverting trifle out of “Ridiculous Six,” so I won’t muster any more words than I have to in reviewing it.