“The Do-Over” Review: Should Have Never Been Done

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

In terms of quality, Netflix’s original films are fascinatingly inconsistent. How is it that the studio that released Beasts of No Nations can release stinkers like Special Correspondents and The Do-Over? Could it be that Netflix is like any other mainstream studio, and will release some great movies during awards season? One could certainly hope, although a movie like The Do-Over won’t leave them with much left.

As with every other Sandler film in the last five years, The Do-Over mostly exists as an excuse to visit various exotic locations. The movie stars David Spade as Charlie, a loser type who realizes at his 25th high school reunion that his life hasn’t changed a bit. He reconnects with Mike (Adam Sandler), a childhood friend and FBI agent/mortician/guidance counselor/aspiring motorcycle cop (take your pick, the movie doesn’t care and neither should you) who convinces Charlie that they should fake their deaths and assume the identities of two dead bodies that Mike found.

There aren’t really a lot of jokes in The Do-Over. And the ones that they have really aren’t that humorous. There’s mostly just a lot of crazy moments and the characters occasionally commenting on the crazy moments. This means that the movie isn’t all that funny. Sometimes it’s a little outrageous, but nothing every comes across as more than interesting and a little surprising.

That said, The Do-Over literally cures cancer. Well, not literally, but cancer is cured within the narrative. This just goes to show that, within the world of the film, nothing actually matters. Logic doesn’t really exist, so the movie just sort of does whatever and then it ends. This ends up leaving the audience with less of an immersive experience and more of an apathetic experience.

There are a couple moments where the film proves it knows what it is doing, but they are few and far between. Not to mention that a movie proving it is competent is a requirement, not a plus. With inconsistent editing, bland cinematography and random voiceovers, the film proves it has no real sense of creative control.

Not only is the film poorly made, but it’s also somewhat problematic. With four of the five female characters relegated to a romantic role, and ALL of the women being treated incredibly poorly, The Do-Over comes off ridiculously misogynistic. While this may be common for a Sandler film, there doesn’t need to be another film where a man proves his masculinity through his relationships to women. And this fragile masculinity is carried over through the movie’s vaguely homophobic themes. It’s not homophobic in an angry way, it’s homophobic in a dated way. The film somehow transports itself back to 2005 where a man being gay is an affront to their masculinity. Just another reason why The Do-Over isn’t relevant.

With all of this said, Netflix is probably the best place for this movie to stay. People don’t need to pay money for this, and there’s much less of a commitment for them to watch the whole thing when it is on Netflix. It’s really not a good movie, and that’s almost entirely because there was so little effort put into the production. Such lazy filmmaking shouldn’t be rewarded.

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