Adam Sandler is currently a hit-or-miss comedian. More often than not, his films don’t get much praise since they are the same low brow toilet humor they've always been while he, and his audience, grow older. Even some of his classics don’t hold up well after time (here’s looking at you Billy Madison) while others do. But Netflix keeps giving him chances. He swung hard and missed with ‘The Ridiculous 6’ and ‘The Do-Over’, but he got some redemption when he played a more straight character in ‘Uncut Gems’.
Today, Netflix has brought us a new offering with ‘Hubie Halloween’, which sees Sandler reunite with director Steven Bill (from ‘Little Nicky’) and his usual team of misfits. Hubert Schubert Dubois (or as I call him, Hubie Schubie Dubie - for short) is the town joke. He lives in the town of Salem and has always been the victim of pranks and insults since he was a kid. He is now an adult who lives with his mom, and he does his best to be useful for the town.
He lives in the legendary town of Salem, MA, and every year he takes it upon himself to protect the town from vandals and criminals alike. But this year, something big is doing down, and people are going missing.
I won’t even put on a poker face for this entry – I loved this movie. I had so much more fun than I had expected and it was super entertaining all throughout. The humor is the same as it always is, HOWEVER Sandler’s performance is a lot more grounded and restraint as compared to his normal roles – this is a huge advantage for the film. By doing this, not only is Sandler NOT overstaying his welcome, but it allows his collage of friends to stand out in their roles (featuring Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows, and June Squibb, just to name a few). Hubie speaks with a speech impediment like a lot of recent characters Sandler has played, but the toned down performance allows it to operate with purpose instead of becoming its own run on joke.
Hubie is a bit slow with a big heart, and this turns into a beautiful anti-bullying lesson.
Hubie Halloween has a few effective jump scares and some very full bellied laughs. My personal favorite thing is that Hubie carries a thermos with him everywhere he goes, but it has this strange ability to be anything he needs when he needs it (like a pocket knife but with more uses), such as being a thermos, a Magic Bullet Blender, a vacuum, and a flashlight all at once. It’s absolutely ridiculous and my girlfriend and I had a blast trying to guess what it would be useful for next.
This has the same tone as ‘Little Nicky’, so I’m very grateful to have this team back together and succeed. It's certainly more on the comedy side than it is horror, but the spirit is there. The film is still divisive amongst people – either being highly praised or shit on like his usual efforts. I thought it was a lot fun, and it will be a great family flick to watch at every Halloween going forward.
‘Hubie Halloween’ is now available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.
‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra