I was excited to see “Little Nicky”, Adam Sandler’s newest theatrical release. As a semi-devout fan, I wished to see more of the sometimes seemingly random humor and quirky, irresponsible antics seen in his past comedy classics Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy and Big Daddy.
Unfortunately, Sandler’s latest movie is best described by Dante’s inscription on the gates of Hell, which is often translated into English as “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” “Little Nicky” is as disappointing as it is demonic.
The youngest son of the devil, Nicky [Sandler], must find and capture his rebelling elder brothers who have fled to Earth to raise their own hell [literally]. In doing this, the brothers Adrian [Rhys Ifans] and Cassius [Tiny Lister] have closed the gates of hell and upset the balance between good and evil. This causes the devil to begin rotting away–not an overall bad thing in my book. Rotting the Big Apple from the inside, the brothers possess prominent figures of New York, creating a place where drunken parties, drugs, and sex are virtues [no, this movie is not a documentary on college life]. Nicky’s task is not easy. While forming a budding romance with Valerie [Patricia Arquette], Nicky is killed numerous times, returning to Hell each time. His brothers are stronger, smarter, and more ruthless than him. However, he has an advantage they don’t: he is half angel.
The great paradox of his lineage is as corny as it is perplexing. The prince of darkness and an angel; only in Hollywood could such a combination occur. Not that the devil has bad taste, with the lovely Reese Witherspoon as the angel mother, but come on, please; Harvey Kietel and Miss Witherspoon? Combine a vision of heaven filled with angels who swear and drink, act like high school girls, and wear really short dresses [well, it is heaven after all], and a vision of devils who are kind and loving and it will leave anyone’s theological heads spinning in their halos.
Not that the movie isn’t funny, but in Sandler’s typical comedy where you are left amused between the punch lines and witticisms, “Little Nicky” leaves you feeling sickly from the barrage of dark humor and random gross curiosities. Sandler seems a bit out of place. This movie is not his normal form. When evil fights against evil, who else can win?
For those burning to see Sandler’s latest escapade, save your eyes and cash the torture and wait for it on video.