2000; Rated PG-13; 90 Minutes
Adam Sandler: Nicky
Patricia Arquette: Valerie
Harvey Keitel: Satan
Rhys Ifans: Adrian
Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr.: Cassius
Rodney Dangerfield: Lucifer
Produced by Allen Covert, Michael De Luca, Robert
Engelman, Jack Giarraputo, Michelle Holdsworth, Adam Sandler,
Robert Simonds, Rita Smith and Brian Witten; Directed
by Steven Brill; Screenwritten by Tim Herlihy,
Adam Sandler and Steven Brill
by DAVID KEYES
Nicky” is pure entertainment for the brain dead; a lifeless,
frustrating travesty of comedy that suspends laughs for
cringes, wit for idiocy, and pleasure for agony. The movie
more than leaves us staring on in disbelief: it practically
knocks our attention spans out cold. As a vehicle for comedian
Adam Sandler, who was never that funny to begin with, the
movie serves merely as the ultimate proof that if he has
yet to make anything worthwhile, chances are that day will
never come. Hopefully the masses will now finally accept
that notion just as easily as I do.
also quite ironic how a movie that makes us feel like we're
in hell actually takes place there. Sandler stars as Little
Nicky, the youngest son of Satan (Harvey Keitel), who at
the opening of the film decides to sustain his leadership
over the underworld, and is then struck down by the sudden
rebellion from his two oldest sons (Rhys Ifans and Tom Lister
Jr.). Going to pieces (literally!) over the revolt, Satan
instructs his youngest and most faithful son, Nicky, to
track down his two brothers in New York and bring them back
down to the depths of hell before they make one of their
own up on Earth.
Nicky is hardly the most experienced person for the task
(especially in a place like the Big Apple), so his journey
through the busy streets and looming complexes is hardly
a routine one. In one instance, the script provides the
guy with a love interest in the form of a "geeky" city girl
named Valerie (Patricia Arquette); at another, he discovers
that his mother, of all people, is an angel (played here
by Reese Witherspoon, in perhaps the only mildly amusing
role of the entire picture).
up a little hell in this vast metropolis comes particularly
easy to Nicky's brothers (at one point, they even posses
Regis Philbin), but its the jokes and cameos in crevices
of the central story that inflict the real pain and suffering
here. A talking dog appears in one or two scenes to act,
at least, as a mild distraction from the story, but gets
suffocated by the useless "Saturday Night Live" skits deposited
sporadically within the substance. There's one scene, for
example, that features Dana Carvey as a referee, another
with Jon Lovitz as a peeping Tom, and even one with Quentin
Tarrantino as a blind preacher. A last resort, so to speak,
is the inclusion of a tone-deaf and irritating joke in which
Adolf Hitler is seen dressed as a French maid. The point?
Certainly not to provoke true laughter.
of these arguments come directly back to the title character,
who is the most unfunny joke of them all. Nicky is not the
worst gimmick character Sandler has ever played, but he's
quite annoying nonetheless. Think of "The Waterboy" before
puberty—he is presented in a torpid fashion, with facial
expressions that look as if they came from someone with
his face pressed up against glass all day, long greasy bangs,
and a raspy, low mimic of a voice that could easily get
overshadowed by the sounds of a working air conditioner.
Watching this travesty of a characterization unfold, I honestly
wondered how any man, even Adam Sandler, could stomach portraying
such a pathetically written wimp. But then again, any man
who could make "Big Daddy" and "The Wedding Singer" and
not duck his head down in shame afterwards has the audacity
to do just about anything, I guess.
movie is complete crap—unfunny, uninspired, deceptive, childish,
ill-conceived, boring, badly shot, poorly realized, and
most of all, incredibly annoying. "Little Nicky," in short,
is the single worst Adam Sandler film ever made. And coming
from a person who has despised every cinematic endeavor
under his belt, that’s saying something!
David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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