The recent release of sci-fi comedy ‘Pixels’, Adam Sandler’ latest big screen appearance, inevitably flopped at the box office, losing roughly around $20,000,000, and rightly so. The film sucked.
I say inevitably because any film starring Sandler nowadays is generally going to fail in all respects. You probably hadn’t even heard of his other recent release, ‘The Cobbler’, which opened to just $24,000. No surprises either – it also sucked. So how has Sandler stumbled so far from being one of the world’s leading comedy actors to making rubbish movies and ultimately posing as a hate figure?
Growing up, Sandler was one of my favourite cult comedy actors. ‘Billy Madison’, ‘Happy Gilmore’, ‘Big Daddy’ – all films that millions love purely because of his comedy in an era during the 90’s and early 2000’s where his name was one of the most sought after in the genre.
I’d say it’s been almost a decade since Sandler’s last enjoyable comedy movie, ‘Click’ – and I know some people wouldn’t even agree with that. Everything since has piled up into a disappointing list of painfully unfunny films – ‘Zohan’, ‘Jack & Jill’, ‘Grown Ups’ (two of them!) and ‘Blended’ to name a few. All seriously poor movies, most of which are products of his own production company Happy Madison.
The man basically is incapable of making an enjoyable watch anymore and as a result people have simply lost respect for him as an actor and person. Is it laziness? Possibly. He knows he’s going to receive a whopping pay cheque after every woeful flick he makes regardless of how painful it is for the audience. Maybe he just doesn’t care for it anymore.
Why this is such a shame relates back to what I mentioned earlier about how he was once at the top of the comedy actor spectrum and how well respected he was for it. But it’s not just his comedy acting that’s taken a serious hit. Sandler has proved on a number of occasions he is a well capable dramatic and therefore respectable actor.
Perhaps lesser-known films on his CV but some of his best performances have come playing a serious role. If you haven’t already done so, check out ‘Reign Over Me’, ‘Spanglish’ and ‘Punch Drunk Love’ and you’ll see he has the ability to be a powerful actor. Yet by making shit film after shit film, we gradually forget why we loved him in the first place.
On the brink of turning 49, Sandler never moved on with his type of comedy. Take ‘Pixels’, he plays his typical down on his luck, cheeky chappy character – the same we’ve seen in the majority of his previous movies – but no one wants to see that anymore. His audiences moved on from his material but he certainly hasn’t and he continues to fail in his attempts to resurrect it.
One way he could go about that is by making new friends. Constantly appearing in movies alongside the equally unfunny Kevin James or Rob Schneider or David Spade obviously isn’t going to help matters – but they all seem too chummy and eager to play alongside each other at the audience’s expense.
I don’t hold much hope for Sandler. It seems to me he’s pretty content just making a host of rubbish films just to get paid handsomely, the next of which, ‘The Ridiculous 6’, opens in December. Let’s just hope it’s not as ridiculous as his drastic turn of career.