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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 Lybarger

"Hey, did you know there’s a new DVD edition of the 1974 original?"
2 stars

Every now and then a remake winds up being the definitive version of a movie. The 1939 “Wizard of Oz,” the 1959 “Ben-Hur” and the 1941 take on “The Maltese Falcon” are better loved and better known than their predecessors. That won’t be a problem for director Robert Aldrich’s 1974 prison comedy “The Longest Yard.”

In the current remake Adam Sandler awkwardly tries on Burt Reynolds’ custom cleats but finds they’re just a little too big. Current helmer Peter Segal (Sandler’s partner in crime for “50 First Dates” and “Anger Management”) directly copies a lot the first film’s content and tries to Sandler-ize it with tedious results. There are, expectedly, lots of flat sequences involving gay stereotypes and body functions.

But much of the fun of the Aldrich original was that the filmmaker created a convincingly gritty atmosphere and managed to get the most from Reynold’s cocky alpha male persona. It also didn’t hurt that Reynolds had actually played college football as his character had done.

Sandler might wear the same Paul Crewe jersey, but it’s much harder to buy him as a disgraced former pro quarterback. For those who might not remember the first film, Crewe winds up going to prison after a bender sends his girlfriend’s car into the scrapheap.

Inside, the politically ambitious warden (James Cromwell) convinces Crewe to lead a team of inmates to take on the guards in a gridiron match.

With the help of the prison’s wheeler-dealer Caretaker (Chris Rock, looking as if he’s itching to return to a standup engagement) and an aging former football star (Reynolds), Crewe manages to assemble a motley but capable squad that actually has a chance of competing against the guards. Unfortunately, the warden’s double dealing and Crewe’s occasionally faulty moral compass could doom the team before they take the field.

Yes, it’s usually pointless to praise an original when reviewing the remake, but Segal continually begs for it. He borrows Aldrich’s musical cues and even some of his camera and editing techniques. During the opening car chase, he even borrows the same Lynard Skynard music from the first movie.

Sadly, he doesn’t seem to know why his predecessor did what he did. In the original the spilt screen sequences helped make the complicated game of football more cinematic and easy to follow. Segal simply follows the master’s technique because he has to, resulting in a narrative jumble.

Segal’s deviations don’t add anything to the story. The transvestite inmates acting as cheerleaders is more annoying than amusing, and the requisite Rob Schneider cameo that comes in just about every Sandler movie wasn’t funny to begin with.

It also doesn’t help that Sandler, in addition to being a physical miscast (yes, Doug Flutie was small, but come on!), seems to be coasting the way Reynolds did during his 80s movies.

Sandler may be getting bored with throwing his trademark temper tantrums, but he fails to come up with enough interesting new antics, and during moments of contrition, he simply doesn’t project the emotional weight that Reynolds could with a sigh.

Reynolds, who approaches the new film with a sincerity that’s sadly missing from everything else, actually emerges from this with his dignity intact. It’s a shame the older actor is getting remembered these days for the red carpet incident instead of leading the original to victory.

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originally posted: 05/27/05 16:09:18
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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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