The Longest Yard


      So I'm not going to sit here and tell you all the differences between this film and the original. Mostly because I've never seen the original. It is a remake, yes, and those faithful to the original will, I'm sure, hate this one. But most of the people (high-schoolers) who will go to see this film haven't seen the original either; and don't care to (which is maybe too bad, but...). I think a film though, should just be reviewed for what it is rather than constantly comparing it to another. Anyway, here goes...

      It's not really that great. They've turned it into a comedy; and although there are some good one-liners, they're mostly juvenile and/or not very funny jokes slapping you in the face. There is a definite chuckle here and there, but basically, it's not all that funny. All the jokes are at the expense of another. Not that I care, it's just that we've heard fat jokes, black jokes, whitey jokes, big guy jokes, gay jokes, etc. McDonanld's obviously paid a lot of dinero to get their word out. As if they needed to. But the McDonald's joke wears very thin by about halfway through the movie after aproximately 100 jokes regarding the guy in prison who can hook you up with some cheeseburgers or McNuggets. If you're looking for classic Sandler, you won't find it here. Plus, he's just not a very believable pro quarter-back. Even Chris Rock is not that great. We've heard his rants about whitey before, and they're just stale (see "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back"), so he's useless.

      Adam Sandler is a has-been QB, forced to put together a team of convicts to play against the guards in a prison. the warden has put him up to it, and he must succeed for his own pride. There is a whole sub-plot about his past deeds that I won't get into, but it's intriguing though foreseeable that he must confront these actions once again. As he trains these degenerates, they become a real team, and will not let anything get in their way, despite the racial tensions, and every dirty trick in the book waged against them by the guards. The movie is all about pride and prejudice. And how to win against both.

      Like I said, it's not really that great. However; I found myself enjoying it slightly. My expectations weren't that high to begin with, so it met them. Although I've been told not to compare other movies with current ones, it is inescapable here. This is any other football movie (most notably "Wildcats," or "The Replacements") thrown into "The Shawshank Redemption" prison set. Complete with the corrupt warden and the unruly guards.

The "Cheerleaders"
      With a huge recognizeable cast, the characters can be fun and endearing; but not fun and endearing enough. The kids will love to see hip-hop star Nelly as the new running back, while us old-timers relish in Burt Reynolds (who played the original lead role) return as the coach for this team of misfits. The cast includes a bunch of wrestling stars (Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Steve Austin, et al), many ESPN personalities (Berman and Jim Rome), and a few other personalities that you'll recognize from the NFL (Michael Irvin & Red McCombs) and other sandler movies. But cameos alone can't bust a film open, although they do help.

      So here's the gist: if you've seen the trailer, you know what's in this movie for sure. You'll probably be disappointed if you paid the full ten bucks for this one, but in about a year when it's on the channel nine saturday afternoon movie, or on TNTs "movies for guys who like movies" premise, it is certanly worth a look-see; or if you're just a football fan you can dig on this one. I found myself slightly on edge during the final big game. I honestly wasn't sure how it would all turn out. You think it's probably gonna turn out all-good at the end, but this is one of those movies where you're just not so sure (unless you've seen the original). I love AC/DC (some of the most under-rated striaght-up ass kickin' raw rock n roll ever), and they are utilized more than once in this movie. So when I hear them cranked up in a DTS equipped theater while guys are getting drop-kicked on a screen in front of me, I'm inspired to believe in the football team of cons, and the possibility of seeing this movie again...although the inspiration has worn off, and I'm sure I won't.



Links:
33% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes
The original's info at imdb.com







drewbacca@moviepatron.com