Movie Review: “The Ridiculous 6”
The Ridiculous 6
Tommy (Adam Sandler) was raised by a tribe of Native Americans, but was born elsewhere. He never knew his father, but his mother gave him to the tribe before she died. Since then, the tribe has raised him as one of their own and has taught him their ways. He can do things that most westerners cannot explain, but things that are considered normal to those that know him. Tommy is proud to be a part of the Native American tribe, and has become a hero that defends them, but he has always been curious about who is father is and if he is still alive.
One day, a lone white man seeks out the tribe. The man is named Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte) and claims to be Tommy's father. Unfortunately, bad men are after Frank (who has a bag of cash hidden away). The men are after Frank's money, and they end up capturing Frank to force him into leading them to it. Tommy has finally met his father, but he was taken from him. His father is in great danger and needs Tommy's help. However, as Tommy begins his journey of finding the group that kidnapped his father, he discovers that Frank had also fathered several other children. They each come from different mothers, but they share a father (one who has been captured and faces imminent death if they are unable to save him). Individually, they are outcasts and misfits, but together they make The Ridiculous 6.
The Pros & Cons
Silly Comedy (+5pts)
The Zohan Comedy (-4pts)
Lil Pete (+5pts)
Native American Comedy (-4pts)
The Brothers (+4pts)
Pro: Silly Comedy (+5pts)
One of my favorite parts of this movie was that it never took itself seriously. The filmmakers clearly knew what this movie was (a dumb comedy) and the movie’s silliest moments worked really well for me. I do not want to spoil anything by listing specific examples, but there were plenty of silly and dumb moments. Whether it was the brothers’ respective backstories, any of the entertaining characters, or any of the various surprising and over-the-top moments, this movie kept the tone light. Most of the characters were complete morons, but there were enough silly, laugh-out-loud moments to keep me watching. Will this silly, dumb style of comedy work for everyone? Absolutely not, it is a very particular style of comedy, but it definitely worked for me.
Con: The Zohan Comedy (+4pts)
While the silly style of comedy worked for me (for the most part), there was one area where this was not the case. If you have seen You Don‘t Mess with the Zohan, you will remember that Adam Sandler’s character was basically a superhero that some characters looked at as a legend. The filmmakers carried that idea over to Adam Sandler’s character in this movie. The character is played as a super serious character who is capable of doing extraordinary things. His serious tone felt like it wasted Adam Sandler’s over-the-top personality and the extraordinary things were just a little too extraordinary, to the point where they felt dumb and severely unrealistic. Although I know that I should not be expecting realism from a movie like this. Tommy’s extraordinary actions could have worked if they were funny, but (to me) they missed their mark and ended up feeling dumb in a bad way.
Pro: Lil Pete (+5pts)
This character made me laugh, constantly, throughout this movie. I remember seeing the cast, and remember Taylor Lautner feeling like an odd fit for this movie. Every other main cast member has made a name for themselves in comedy, but Taylor Lautner felt like the black sheep in this cast. I was totally ready to see this movie and come out of it thinking that he was the weak link of the cast.
Much to my surprise, however, Lil’ Pete ended up being my favorite character. The character is incredibly dumb, and was responsible for what ended up being (to me) the absolute funniest scene in the movie. I judged a book by its cover when it came to this casting choice and I was very excited to be proven wrong here. This character was a lot of fun, and Taylor Lautner did a great job with the role.
Con: Native American Comedy (-4pts)
Okay, there was a lot of comedy in this movie. With that in mind, I thought it necessary to split it into different sections to explain what I liked and what I did not like. Other than what I call the Zohan comedy, the other type of comedy that I did not like was the comedy aimed at Native Americans and their lifestyle. Now, I am not one of those people that would ever get offended on behalf of another group, but a lot of this comedy felt distasteful which made it not work for me.
Do you know when someone makes racist comments to you and expects you to find them as amusing as they do? That is what these scenes felt like. They felt like I was supposed to find them funny, but they just came across as racist jokes that were intended to make non-racist people laugh. Now, I am not calling the filmmakers racist. These jokes were clearly intended as lighthearted humor set in the Wild West, but they definitely felt like they missed their intended target.
Pro: The Brothers (+4pts)
One of the elements that I enjoyed about this movie was the relationship between of the brothers. Each brother has felt isolated in their own lives, and metaphorically jump at the opportunity to be part of a family. They came from different mothers, which resulted in a pretty diverse group of characters. From the color of their skin, to the environment they were raised in, each brother had very different life experiences and brought very different skills to the table.
The variety was fun to see, and the cast made it incredibly entertaining. Some of the more entertaining parts of this movie came from watching these brothers interact with one another and showing off their various skills. I bought that each of the brothers wanted to help save their father, and I bought that the brothers bonded with one another (due to each wanting to feel like they belong to something). The cast made for a lot of funny moments, while making me care about the characters. The idea was far fetched, but the cast made it fun.
Con: Frank (-4pts)
Maybe it was because the character was played by Nick Nolte, but I always thought there was something up with Frank. I never really trusted him so, while I could get behind the brothers' desire to save their father, I never thought the brothers would succeed. From the beginning of the movie, I assumed the brothers would be double crossed somehow. Was I right in my assumption? You will have to see the movie to find out, but I think this assumption made the character of Frank lose something.
I think Nick Nolte did the best he could at making me sympathize with Frank. However, the simple fact of being played by an actor who plays almost exclusively antagonists made me too suspicious of the character. Ultimately, this suspicion ruined what I think the filmmakers wanted to do with the character. Again, I bought the brothers' drive to save and meet their father, but my lack of trust for Frank definitely made me less invested in whether or not the brothers succeeded.
Grade: C+ (77pts)
The Ridiculous 6 was the kind of movie that I went into expecting it to be a stupid comedy. Whether it was going to be the right kind of stupid or the wrong kind of stupid, I did not know, but I assumed it was going to have a very dumb style of comedy. In that regard, I was correct, but there were definitely aspects of the comedy that I liked as well as aspects that I did not. I liked the silly style of comedy that came from silly characters saying or doing silly things. Between the main cast and the vast collection of silly sidecharacters, this type of comedy kept me laughing from start to finish.
Unfortunately, the filmmakers made Tommy have You Don’t Mess with the Zohan kind of abilities that made the character come across as really dumb (in a bad way). Additionally, the movie had a number of scenes that poked fun at Native Americans. These scenes were clearly intended as “good fun” by the filmmakers, but the scenes ended up missing their mark which made them feel racist. I liked the cast, although Adam Sandler’s character felt too serious (which felt like a waste of having Adam Sandler as the lead). The brothers were fun to see interact with one another, and Lil Pete (Taylor Lautner) made for some of the movie’s absolute funniest moments. Some of the comedy worked for me, and some of the comedy did not, but I think there is definitely some fun to be had with this movie (if you are a fan of dumb comedies).