Let’s say twenty-nine years ago you heated up two plates of nachos. One of the plates you ate right away, the gooey cheesy and tasty salsa was delightful. Sadly, you left the second batch of nachos to sit on your counter for twenty-nine years and then when the right day came almost three decades later you gave this new batch a try and you sourly find those nachos aren’t too edible. So goes the story of The Longest Yard… not so delicious.
The Longest Yard is a remake that didn’t need to be made. It’s a comedy that’s too serious, yet not serious enough to be taken seriously. It’s a cliche storm disaster. It exists in a world where games of football between prison guards and inmates are televised on ESPN2.
Chris Rock as Caretaker and Adam Sandler as Paul Crewe do give it the old college try, you can’t fault the effort. They want this film to be funny, or is it, serious. Gritty, yet friendly, with a bunch a dirty cons playing for keeps who just so happen to be a bunch of really swell guys. Are you seeing the problem yet?
One gaping wound would have to be the presence of Burt Reynolds in this film. I understand he wanted to be involved and he supported this new project, but Burt is quickly turning into a caricature of himself. He’s not Coach Scarborough, he’s Burt freaking Reynolds and if I wanted to see that I’d throw in my Smokey and the Bandit DVD back when it was funny and fresh.
What worked with this film? What’s worth seeing? Well, the football action is realistic looking. Tracy Morgan as a cross-dressing convict cheerleader works pretty well. And when Chris Rock is around he carries the film for minutes at a time. You also won’t want to miss the first few minutes with Courteney Cox and the twins (you’ll see). The new Bentley featured in the film is also pretty righteous, other than that it’s a vast desert of boredom, a plate full of thirty year old nachos. See at your own risk.