Adam Sandler. From the top, if you don't like Adam Sandler, there is very little reason to go see Little Nicky. If you liked The Waterboy, but didn't like Big Daddy, then you'll like this movie. If you were the opposite, you probably won't like this movie. If you hated them both, then don't even bother with this one. And if you liked both, then you're a bigger Adam Sandler fan than I am, and you probably like everything he does.
Sandler plays Nicky, one of the sons of the Devil (Harvey Keitel). When his two brothers (Tiny Lister, Rhys Ifans) escape Hell and head to New York (surprisingly, not a whole lot of difference between the two places), it's up to Nicky to head to Earth, and bring them back, because if he doesn't, his father will die, and one of the brothers will take over as the Devil. While on Earth, Nicky is befriended by Mr. Beefy, a dog that can talk and do all sorts of other things. Nicky also gets a roommate, and a couple of Devil worshipping friends who I thought were the funniest part of the film. He also meets a girl (Patricia Arquette) and the inevitable romance story lines plays a part in the film. The movie is filled with sometime funny, sometimes not jokes, and a lot of strange special effects. It has some really good moments, and some slow ones, but overall it was enjoyable, if not one of Sandler's best works.
As in The Waterboy, Sandler's character is just odd. Here he has a speech impediment given to him by one of his brothers when they hit him in the face with a shovel. When Sandler plays just a straight character, like the one in The Wedding Singer, he can be very funny. But when he needs to give his character some strange trait, he plays to the trait, instead of to his comedic strength. In a movie like The Waterboy, it works better because that movie was just straight out for laughs without any special effect, big budget humor. This movie has a story line that involves more than just an off the wall character, so that when the humor surrounds something like a speech impediment, it makes the movie as a whole less enjoyable. At the same time, when you have a movie like Big Daddy, which I didn't like as much as his other films, Sandler didn't play to his strengths enough, and made a movie that was more sappy than fun.
Adam Sandler to me will always be the guy on the old MTV game show Remote Control, who'd come out, make an ass out of himself for a few seconds, and then leave. He can be amazingly funny in short stretches, but taken for 90 minutes, if he plays a one-dimensional character, it can be draining. So the reason this movie was fun and kept up a good pace, was with the help of the supporting cast. People like Ozzy Osbourne, Reese Witherspoon, Dana Carvey, Rodney Dangerfield, Kevin Nealon, Dan Marino, and whole host of other guests made the movie better. We didn't have to watch Nicky and his speech impediment all the time, we were able to go to other characters to help carry the movie. Don't get me wrong, this is still an Adam Sandler movie, but having a strong supporting cast helped out a lot. I also enjoyed the soundtrack with some classic hard rock songs from bands like Van Halen and The Scorpions, along with more recent bands like Disturbed and Powerman 5000.
In the end, Little Nicky is a typical Adam Sandler film. Lots of jokes that hit or miss depending a lot on how you feel about Sandler. I am a fan, and have liked almost all of his movies. If you're not a fan, chances are the supporting cast won't be enough to make you like the film. But I for one, had a good time.
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How the Grinch Stole Christmas/
Horton Hears a Who
Release date: 12/19/00
© 2000 Wolfpack Productions