The Times’ A.O. Scott unloads.
Because life is short and I have other things to be upset about, I will not dwell on the offensive aspects of “Blended,” the new Adam Sandler comedy: its retrograde gender politics; its delight in the humiliation of children; its sentimental hypocrisy about male behavior; its quasi-zoological depiction of Africans as servile, dancing, drum-playing simpletons; its … I’m sorry. That’s just what I said I wouldn’t do.
Most of “Blended” has the look and pacing of a three-camera sitcom filmed by a bunch of eighth graders and conceived by their less bright classmates. Shots don’t match. Jokes misfire. Gags that are visible from a mile away fail to deliver. Two rhinos are seen copulating by the side of a swimming pool, and someone has the wit to say, “That’s not something you see in New Jersey.” Not funny on so many levels.
There are comedians who mine their own insecurities for material. Mr. Sandler, in his recent films, compensates for his by building monuments to his own ego. In “Blended,” he once again proclaims himself both über-doofus and ultimate mensch, disguising his tireless bullying in childish voices and the ironclad alibis of fatherhood and grief.
New Yorker critic Richard Brody calls it “a failure for the ages” then goes on to say he’s a “big fan” of Sandler, who delivers an “excellent” performance.
So from now on when it comes to reviews, Brody = Larry King.
“The Pink Panther” – Flat out hilarious. Steve Martin is incredible. Somewhere Peter Sellers is laughing out loud.
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