Wednesday, October 11, 2006

CLICK

ClickAdam Sandler Directed by Frank Coraci
Starring Adam Sandler
Reviewed by Byron Merritt


UNFORTUNATE THUMBS DOWN!

AN UNFORTUNATE THUMBS DOWN FILM REVIEW RATING!

Watching CLICK is like watching two separate movies. The blatant parallels to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE are transparent, but that's not what makes Click a clunker. Not that it is a clunker in its entirety, either.

The story surrounds Michael Newman (Adam Sandler, SPANGLISH), an architect who yearns for peace and harmony in his life. Part of the problem is the competition (keeping up with the Jones') that he has going on with his neighbors. They have a new RV, new toys and new cars, while Michael and his family just get by. One evening he hears the irritating boy next door talking about his father's new universal remote control that's patched into everything (garage door, TV, stereo, etc.) and it's all that Michael can take. So he heads out to the mall and stops at (of all places) Bed, Bath and Beyond. It is the "Beyond" that apparently pulls him in, but once inside all he finds are towels and bedding. He lays down on one of these and then quickly spots a doorway that says "Beyond". It looks rather ethereal yet inviting, so Michael goes on in. What he finds is a whacked-out looking guy named Morty (Christopher Walken, WEDDING CRASHERS) who offers him a truly "Universal Remote." This remote control does it all. It can rewind you to your birth so that you can witness it (or your conception, something we should NEVER have to see), or it can fast-forward you through troubling times, like arguments with your spouse, or personal illnesses. The dangers of this Universal Remote aren't evident right away. Apparently, as this magical tool gets used to your requests, it does them automatically, without you having to push a button. So when Michael fast forwards through arguments with his wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale, UNDERWOLD), the remote does it automatically for him in the future. Thus, large chunks of what might seem like inane discussions suddenly are wiped away.

Michael soon discovers that his life is in constant fast forward. His job, his kids, his wife, even his own body, change in rapid succession as the Universal Remote takes over. Trying to give back this dangerous piece of machinery, we soon learn that Morty is much more than he seems.

The great thing about the film is the last 2/3 of it (with the exception of the ending, which we'll cover in a moment). When people learn how important life is, it's truly an eye-opener. And this is where Click succeeds. When Sandler's character learns about death and how important it is to live every second of every day, it is heart renderingly pulled off. We get to witness Sandler rewinding time and again the important portions of his life that he missed. And, near the end of his own life, we witness his evolution into a man of distinction, trying to save his son from his own deadly mistakes related to family.


Where the film fails is the beginning and it's horribly cliched ending. The beginning of the film is filled with bathroom humor (farting in people's faces) and gag jokes that sag under their own terrible weight. This is where one feels like they are watching an entirely different film when compared to the latter 2/3 of the movie. The characters are one-dimensional and utterly unbelievable (quite the dichotomy from what we see later). This isn't a character evolution issue as much as a script failure.

The ending of the film is what finally gives it a poor rating. When we see Sandler lay down at Bed, Bath and Beyond, a creeping disgust enters the mind. The film-makers surely wouldn't use one of the oldest cliches in the book, would they? But, oh yes, they did. Grrr!


The unfortunate thing about Click is that it really has a wonderful message and some fine acting moments. Special effect make-up artist Rick Baker (PLANET OF THE APES) also deserves much credit for the aging looks he puts the characters through, from Henry Winkler's role as Sandler's father, to Sean Astin's (LORD OF THE RINGS) speedo and chubby swim instructor, it was one of the strongest aspects of the entire production.

As a whole, the film fails because of its childish beginnings and over-used style ending. But make no mistake, there are some great moments in here. Just not enough to give it a high ranking.

Click here for the Click movie trailer!

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