“Sandy Wexler”

I’m rooting for Adam Sandler. As much as I hate his current movies, I’m rooting for the guy to make another great comedy reminiscent of “Funny People,” “Anger Management,” and “Happy Gilmore.” “Sandy Wexler” is unfortunately not that comeback.

Sandler is the titular character. Wexler is a famous talent manager known for his fierce loyalty and dedication to his clients. Despite his credibility, he lives in the guest house of a mansion, drives a crappy car, and his biggest client is a poor man’s Evil Knievel (Nick Swardson). That’s until he meets a beautiful zoo performer (Jennifer Hudson) and launches her stardom.

Props to Sandler for scrapping his traditional tiresome mean-spirited behavior and attempting to be more sentimental. Unfortunately, “Sandy Wexler” is an uneven and uncomfortable failure. I laughed maybe once, but I can’t even remember the joke.

“Sandy Wexler” is told in a non-linear, mockumentary structure that’s more self-indulgent than clever. It’s just an excuse for Sandler’s friends Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey, Chris Rock, and David Spade to have cameos. Sandler also attempts to portray Wexler as a lovable ne’er-do-well, but how are we supposed to root for a guy whose biggest flaw is being a compulsive liar?

Jennifer Hudson shows off some great singing chops, but her soulful performance doesn’t mesh with Sandler berating incompetent extras or fleeing angry attack dogs repeatedly. Several jokes in the film are overdone in a 130-minute run time, so the film could have trimmed at least 30 minutes altogether.

I’m not kidding when I say I want Adam Sandler to redeem himself. With “Punch-Drunk Love” (my all-time favorite romantic comedy) under his belt, the man is quite talented. But this 50-year-old actor has to realize that the childish voices and violent temper tantrums aren’t what people want anymore. Fingers crossed he takes the hint before his next movie.

Grade: D

“The Do-Over”

I hadn’t watched an Adam Sandler movie since “Just Go with It,” which was released five years ago. I said, “Never again,” but five years later, here I am.

Sandler plays Max, a charismatic (and insane) old friend of Charlie’s (David Spade). Max convinces the miserable Charlie to ride on his yacht one day and the two catch up until it explodes! Charlie wakes up and finds that Max faked their deaths to give them a second chance at living how they want to live. And of course, there’s a price.

I wanted to watch “The Do-Over” because I wanted to see what an action-comedy from Sandler and Spade would be like. Well, it’s bad. This movie has all of the usual tropes in an Adam Sandler movie:

-An obscene amount of product placement.

-Casting of Sandler’s friends including Luis Guzman, Sean Astin, Nick Swardson, Torsten Voges, and Jonathan Lougran.

-Gross-out body humor.

-Racism.

-Dick jokes.

-Violent gags.

-Cruelty towards women and kids.

-Adam Sandler being a violent psycho.

There’s more than that in “The Do-Over.” This movie is incredibly uneven. It begins as a tale of men having a mid-life crisis, as Spade is the textbook example of pathetic. It’s more uneven in its second hour when the action starts. That’s when there’s a confusing conspiracy and a dark subplot involving cancer, while still telling gay jokes? Lovely….

There are a couple of mildly funny lines where Sandler pokes fun at himself, but I would have liked more of this humor and less of his usual shtick. But I’m back on the wagon, so don’t expect me to review any Adam Sandler movies moving forward.

Grade: D-