For those who thought we were getting a whole new Adam Sandler after ‘Uncut Gems’, you were wrong. Instead we got ‘Hubie Halloween’.
The sixth Sandler and Netflix collaboration, ‘Hubie Halloween’ follows (you guessed it) Hubie as he tries to keep his small town of Salem, Massachusetts safe on the spookiest night of the year. What is the danger I hear you ask? Frankly, that is what I was trying to work out for the majority of this parody of what a film should be.
Now I am not saying my hopes were stupidly high, because they were not. When you hear the words ‘comedy’ and ‘Netflix’ beside each other in a sentence, it doesn’t exactly spring to mind images of knee-slapping howls of laughter. The most you are aiming for is air coming out of your nose. But even those moments were hard to come by in this.
The convoluted plot is where most of my issues come from. They have storylines coming at you from all directions and most of them are a dead end. In fact, there is characters that serve no real purpose other than to fill up the credits. If we have learned anything from comedy films in the last couple of years, they thrive in simplicity. ‘Hubie Halloween’ is about as simple as a disco light in a hall of mirrors.
A large chunk of the gags seem to echo, or straight-up steal from other Happy Madison projects. It might look shiny and new but this kind of film is a relic of the past. If you want a comedy that is weird, wholesome and light, just look at Sandler’s 2000’s catalogue. That is where ‘Hubie Halloween’ belongs.
Now I don’t believe in giving anything zero stars, so I will say this, the aesthetic of this film is great. Coming from someone who has a skeleton called Nathaniel hanging up on her door year-round, seeing autumnal streets with people trick or treating made me happy.
It was also nice to watch something where the actors seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. SNL talents Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson actually did make me crack a smile, It might not be a laugh but it has to count for something. It might not be a good film, but it is nice.
However, ‘Hubie Halloween’ still feels like a fake movie that has been inserted in a real movie so the audience can laugh at how absurd the fake movie is. But here’s the thing, you only need to watch that for 10 seconds and then you can go on watching the actual film. I had to sit through 1 hour and 45 minutes of it. Do you know how many assignments I could have got done in that time? Probably none but you get my point.
If you are looking for your bog-standard Sandler romp with over the top hijinks, possibly offensive speech impediments and Steve Buscemi, maybe look further back in Sandler’s career. If you want a poor parody of that, this is the film for you.