The Longest Yard (2005)

(In French, On TV, February 2015)  Surprisingly enough, this Adam Sandler film doesn’t feel all that much like an Adam Sandler film… largely, I suspect, because it’s a remake of a 1974 film.  Not having seen the original, I’m left wondering at the remake and how I’m pretty sure it has neutralized a lot of the original’s seventies realism in favor of more contemporary jokes.  Sandler isn’t particularly credible as a NFL-level football player, but he’s charming enough in the lead role, and allows the supporting characters to get their laughs.  Chris Rock has a good role as an inmate fixer and so do James Cromwell and William Fitchner on the prison staff side.  Not being a football fan, I found the film interminable during its far-too-long third act, set during a football game that never seems to end despite fairly preordained plot points.  But then again, I’m not really the target audience for this film: I suspect that The Longest Yard will appeal far more to those with an interest in football, prison machismo and Adam Sandler.  There are enough jokes to make much of the film pass by harmlessly.  Of note is the realization, seeing a French-dubbed version of the film, how much I’ve come to associate Chris Rock’s voice with his effectiveness as a comedian.

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