The Longest Yard Review
Ahh, Hollywood and their originality eh? Yet another remake of a well regarded original, but this one bears words I dread, an MTV production. Adam Sandler plays Paul Crew, an ex quarterback who was alleged to have shaved points off a football game. He obviously has issues with his girlfriend, played by Courtney Cox, as he gets merrily blitzed on beer during one of her parties, locks her in the closet and takes her Bentley for a drive, which culminates in a rather large Police chase. Being DUI breaches his parole from the shaved points case, so he's incarcerated into a prison run by James Cromwell, who wants him to help coach his guard's football team (they've not won the league for 5 years). Crew declines the offer, due to encouragement from the guards, but he suggests that the guards have an easy warm up game to build morale. The warden agrees that it's a superb idea and makes this game guards vs. cons, but recruiting the right players is going to be a challenge in itself for the unanimously hated convict, luckily though he has help in the form of Caretaker (Rock) and a very familiar face......
Well, it's never going to be as good as the original, but then, it's rare when they are. This has all the usual Sandler trademarks, from him being meek in general to a Rob Schneider appearance, but it's very difficult to buy into him ever being an American Football player, let alone a quarterback. I know we have to suspend belief when watching some movies, but this is a particularly difficult thing to swallow. Even more so when there is an actual mix of real footballers and wrestling stars present - they truly eclipse Sandler physically. Rock isn't too irritating - he's not Chris Tucker thankfully - and while he won't win an Oscar (or probably host them again), he brings more humour than the star of the movie and in an uninspired moment of casting we have Reynolds himself, who is basically in my opinion, placed here to give some weight to this remake - almost like an endorsement as such and he's certainly the best actor here, which isn't saying too much. Cromwell plays the warden very well, indeed it's during the final moments of the movie we see how desperate and twisted a simple game can make someone. There's also a big deal on the cover made about Nelly - but after 2 viewings, not once did I see an elephant.
In term of entertainment value, this movie is average but nothing more than that. I'm not a Sandler fan, but this wasn't as painful to watch compared to Anger Management, but it's still no masterpiece and I think part of the problem is inevitable comparisons to the original. If it stood on its own, it still wouldn't be great but at least you won't be continually comparing it - then again, if it were original, Reynolds wouldn't be in this. It is a tad long and would benefit from some trimming by at least 15 minutes, Rock has all the best lines and wrestler Kevin Nash camps it up when his steroids are replaced with estrogen tablets, which gives a wonderful visual joke of a 7 foot, 300 pound guy being a cheerleader. Not amazing, but the closest I got to laughing.