Following The Ridiculous Six, Adam Sandler delivers his latest Netflix-produced creation The Do-Over, a buddy comedy in which Sandler gives David Spade's loser the chance to build a whole new life for himself.
It's a much smaller film in scale than the aforementioned Western and it's all the better for it as it allows more focus on the characters and the story rather than endless silly jokes and too many side characters. Which is not to say The Do-Over doesn't have silly jokes but it doesn't feel the need to hit you over the head with them too often. The core premise is pretty clever as Max, Sandler's character, reconnects with Charlie (Spade), an old friend from high school, before the former takes it upon himself to fake their deaths in the hope of freeing each other from the burdens of their current lives. It turns out that Charlie isn't too keen on reinventing himself just yet plus it turns out that Max isn't the FBI agent he was claiming to be so the whole thing gets pretty messy rather quick.
There's something refreshing about The Do-Over as it kinda feels like Adam Sandler is paying homage to the likes of Tommy Boy and Black Sheep by teaming up with David Spade and it all feels like a good old-fashioned mismatched duo comedy, sort of like Bulletproof. Sandler's performances have been sluggish and uninterested as of late but he appears to genuinely enjoy himself in this one, plus he and Spade play well off each other. Unfortunately, the film feels the need to include some vulgar gross-out humour which doesn't really gel with the tone of the film as a whole and completely negates the emotional punch the main reveal was looking for. Had the movie, indeed, gone for a purely slapstick buddy comedy then it really would have been a great, memorable surprise. But it wants to have its cake and eat it too by attempting to be both heartfelt and moving while also being hilariously disgusting and that obviously backfires.
As unconvincing as The Do-Over may be, it's still much funnier and more enjoyable than most of Sandler's recent output. It'll probably fade into obscurity pretty fast but if you enjoy Sandler and Spade's style of comedy then you'll enjoy parts of this movie for sure.
Uneven, if amusing, romp.