The western comedy is a sub-genre as barren as the deserts portrayed in its films, few stand out and even fewer have stood the test of time. Blazing Saddles, City Slickers, and ¡Three Amigos! are the rare exceptions, and more recently Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West was a pretty decent addition. But The Ridiculous 6 is not a major part of this esteemed gang, its like the runt of group which everyone keeps around because it provides some entertainment now an then.
Adam Sandler is Tommy a.k.a White Knife, a white man with incredible knife skills, raised by Native Americans after his mother was killed when he was young. One day Frank Stockburn (Nick Nolte) strolls into camp and tells him he is his long presumed dead father, and that he is there to make amends with his son before he dies of consumption. As a parting gift he informs Tommy of his personal wealth buried in the forests, which he wants him to have. Not long after Franks old gang arrive, led by Cicero (Danny Trejo) demanding the same money he hid from them. In order to avoid bloodshed Frank takes Cicero away from the camp and to a place he claims the money is buried. Tommy realises Frank is deceiving Cicero about the money, and in a bid to save his fathers life starts a journey to get $50,000 to save his life. Unbeknownst to Tommy, his journey leads him to discovering he has five other brothers, Ramon (Rob Schnieder), Herm (Jorge Garcia), Lil’ Pete (Taylor Lautner), Chico (Terry Crews) and Danny (Luke Wilson) who are all Frank Stockburn’s sons from different mothers. The unlikely group unite together to save their father who they have never met, and become the ridiculous six.
To put it bluntly The Ridiculous 6 is not a great film and at nearly 2 hours in length it’s just too long for a comedy, It takes nearly 50 minutes alone to bring the six brothers together. Even The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey made quicker introductions than that and there are 13 dwarves! The film also wastes time on bizarre side plots, one of which is the creation of baseball featuring John Turturro. Unfortunately this ends up with some of the characters getting little screen time other than their own moment being the hero, and the pace of the film is that of a horse suffering sun stroke in an arid desert without water. However with that being the case, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t make me chuckle now and then.
Easily the highlights of this tepid film, and comedy, come from the numerous cameos contained within. Will Forte (He needs to lead more films!) and his Left-Eye Gang are welcome antagonists, with their recruitment of Steve Zahn’s wacky ‘injun’ hating Clem providing equal cringe and laughs. My biggest chuckle came from Vanilla Ice playing Mark Twain, (it’s just a few lines but I found it amusing) and Steve Buscemi as a barber who utilises a cream fit for all purposes that finds itself in a number of orifices, it is as disgustingly funny as it sounds. Of the actual six main characters, after completely and utterly embraces his inner Billy Madison as the dim witted Lil’ Pete, it’s surprisingly Taylor Lautner that makes the biggest impact. It was the type of performance Sandler was lauded for back in day, and as Kirk Lazarus would say he goes “full retard”. It’s so stupid but you can’t help but give a wry smile sometimes, even if it does make you feel dirty after.
At the end of the day The Ridiculous 6 is a typical Adam Sandler film, you get exactly what you expect, projectile diarrhoea and all, and surely you don’t expect anything different. If you don’t like his stuff then don’t waste your time as you’ll be sure to hate it. But if you still enjoy Little Nicky and Billy Madison then there will be something for you to enjoy here, and to be honest I’ve seen much worse.