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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.88%
Worth A Look: 13.28%
Average: 14.84%
Pretty Bad41.41%
Total Crap: 8.59%

12 reviews, 56 user ratings

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Longest Yard, The (2005)
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by Erik Childress

"Exactly Like The Original - Not Very Funny, But Reasonably Entertaining"
3 stars

Not everyone was happy with Adam Sandler updating Gary Cooper with his Mr. Deeds Goes To Town remake. That was before the transition Sandler made with more dramatic roles in Punch-Drunk Love and Spanglish. Of course he’s found room for the wacky vehicles that first made him a star, but even Anger Management and 50 First Dates did have a semblance of maturity that tried to appease both fans and critics. As remakes go, The Longest Yard is not as cherished as the days of Capra, yet Sandler’s entourage have somehow found a way to be more respectful to the source material (even without the “R” rating). The film is actually short on genuine laughter, but has been made to be extremely watchable.

Getting Burt Reynolds on board was a stroke of genius even if it wasn’t for the intended reasons. His involvement clearly began as a tribute to the original (as is the cameo by Ed Lauter, the original Captain Knauer now played by William Fichtner), but an icon like Burt wasn’t about to watch one of the few beloved films of his career to be dragged through the mud. That’s why you can put both films side-by-side and see virtually the same script outline scene-by-scene, give or take a few jumbles and weak attempts at additional humor.

Disgraced football quarterback, Paul Crewe (Sandler) goes for a drunken joyride in the car of his shrewish girlfriend (an uncredited but boobily enhanced Courteney Cox Arquette). He’s arrested and sent upstate to a prison where the Warden (James Cromwell, playing it dead serious) wants Crewe’s involvement in getting his semi-pro team of guards ready for their upcoming season. When Crewe suggests playing a squad they could humiliate to get their confidence up, the Warden brainstorms a plan for the inmates to take the field with the star QB as their leader. With the help of Chris Rock’s Caretaker and a couple dozen big men, rappers and ex-football stars, the criminals will at last have their shot to hit their captives legally.

I’ve probably oversold the mature angle since indeed the remake’s biggest problem is that its best attempts at humor come in fits of homosexual jokes and jabs by Chris Rock that date his material by about ten years. Between a flamboyant party guest, Tracy Morgan’s gang of “reformed” cheerleaders and Nicholas Turturro’s closeted suggestions, its reasonable to calculate at least 85% of the comedy is gay-related. Its beneath even Sandler’s performance who other than a “wet willy” moment plays it pretty close to the sleeve. How could you not with the original Paul Crewe watching over you every day?

By keeping their eye on the ball, director Peter Segal and writer Sheldon Turner miss some of the obvious jokes staring them right in the huddle. How can you use David Patrick Kelly and not make one reference to his Warriors taunt? Why not beef up Chris Rock’s Shawshank-like position by making him the guy who truly can get you ANYTHING instead of keeping him in the ranks of Dennis Miller and Dom DeLuise of comedians not stretching themselves beyond their actual personalities. And even the Domster had Captain Chaos. With all the ex-pros (Michael Irvin, Brian Bosworth, Bill Romanowski) and WWE stars (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bill Goldberg, Kevin Nash) on hand, surely something could have been found better than one guy’s ability to snag cheeseburgers. Although I couldn’t help but laugh at Nash’s induced infliction at the hands of Crewe’s team.

Playing it safe may not be representative of the spirit that the “Mean Machine” possesses but it might have been the filmmaker’s best available option. Stripping it down any further in story or dignity and they would be accused of desecrating another classic (at least in memory if not overt quality.) The original isn’t much more than a star vehicle with a fun story about underdogs, so the worst the remake can be accused of is repeating the same jokes we heard 32 years ago. No great insight about sports or the prison system has been removed from this version nor has any growth in character development. What you saw in 1973 is pretty much what you get here, an audience pleaser that isn’t a particular laugh-riot but will certainly keep you in the game.

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originally posted: 05/27/05 14:04:13
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User Comments

8/27/13 Zack I love this movie 5 stars
11/13/09 Homer J. Fong Who is this "Pete" Crewe you keep mentioning? The character's name is *Paul*. 1 stars
5/25/09 Brandon Allin It's a mildly entertaining comedy. 3 stars
11/28/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 4 stars
9/27/08 k. this movie was awesome 5 stars
4/26/07 eddie great very funny just brill 5 stars
4/18/07 David Pollastrini not as good as the original 2 stars
1/21/07 David A. Poor remake of a weak original. This time, the ref gets hit in the nuts with the ball. 1 stars
11/23/06 Austin Wertman HILARIOUS 4 stars
11/16/06 Steve Newman Mean Machine in 1974 the best - British version on soccer was rubbish - this is truly awful 1 stars
9/08/06 drydock54321 do you really believe they would take football that seriously 2 stars
7/24/06 Joyce Verhoeven Cool 5 stars
7/08/06 NS Not much, but funny... and with Courteny Cox. 3 stars
7/08/06 Gerry Irons Funny in parts- overall not a typical sandler movie- bette than the original- like amore ad 3 stars
5/11/06 eric banner sandler did an exelent job in the movie, it was the best movie i've ever seen 5 stars
5/02/06 Anthony Feor Sandler should consider retirement 1 stars
4/25/06 jeffery goodson it was so great 5 stars
4/05/06 Quigley is dum this movie isnt foul Quigley what r u a mom 5 stars
4/03/06 JRE really funny. not as good as the first one though 4 stars
1/11/06 Michael Go Team and all that 4 stars
11/02/05 Dots Funny 5 stars
10/26/05 latrice this movie was the best and nelly was so fine 5 stars
10/26/05 jake awesome 5 stars
10/16/05 Quigley a totally foul and offensive movie. I really miss when movies were GOOD! skip this crap. 1 stars
9/13/05 bbbr sounds good 5 stars
9/10/05 Tori I thought this was a wonderful movie, hilarious 5 stars
8/28/05 Tom Burns A very entertaining movie. 5 stars
7/21/05 susie this movie rocks,i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/03/05 Vic Great movie...adam is hilarious was good even though i saw it twice in 1 day.agaisnt my wil 4 stars
7/02/05 Eddie Not the best remake 3 stars
6/29/05 Obi Wan Adam Sandler is NOT FUNNY! 1 stars
6/21/05 Amanda Roberts Definetly not as good as I expected 3 stars
6/15/05 Julia I totally love this movie and i am an 11 year old girl!! 5 stars
6/15/05 Quigley totally disgusting offensive humor that a stupid two year old would laugh at. atrocious!!!! 1 stars
6/15/05 Parsley I don't know what you think but I thought it was cool how it stuck to the origanal. 5 stars
6/14/05 anne Turner its better than all you idiots say it is 4 stars
6/12/05 Tanya Simpson I thought it was hysterically funny 4 stars
6/12/05 Valerie Won't increase your intellect or political awareness, but great for laughs 4 stars
6/09/05 chris kohn even though dis movie was a remake of a classic it still was a hit wit da new generation"X" 5 stars
6/08/05 Drew Peltier I really enjoyed this movie 4 stars
6/07/05 Dave McCulley This movie was hilarious. This reviewer doesn't know good movies. Adam Sandler at his best 5 stars
6/07/05 John Bale Sandler miscast badly in this poor remake that lacks many laughs, but not action. 3 stars
6/07/05 KingNeutron What can I say, I liked it. 4 stars
6/05/05 Brian how many SNL has-bens does it take to make a bad movie? 1 stars
6/05/05 Josh Brogan This was a very funny movie, sandler is a comical genious, see it for yourself 5 stars
6/03/05 Christy Schultz The original was way better... 2 stars
6/03/05 deadwiz Fun for a few laughs, nothing more. 3 stars
6/03/05 Quigley i wish the ratings could go lower, because this crap-fest deserves every stinkin' bit!!!!! 1 stars
6/03/05 drgonzo7 normally i hate Adam Sandler, but this movie wasn't that bad. 4 stars
6/03/05 Hater Sandler is not funny! Can't hold a movie, better suited for skits on SNL! 1 stars
6/02/05 sandler sucks sandler sucks 2 stars
6/01/05 Josh It was awesome! It was so funny. It rocked. I would see it again and again and again. 5 stars
5/29/05 Frank Newhouse Fooooonies! =-) 5 stars
5/29/05 KCobain Sandler officially sucks now. What garbage. 1 stars
5/27/05 tomlove thanhcong 2 stars
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  27-May-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Sep-2005



Directed by
  Peter Segal

Written by
  Sheldon Turner

  Adam Sandler
  Chris Rock
  Burt Reynolds
  James Cromwell
  William Fichtner

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