I love Adam Sandler, I really do, but what was he thinking with this film?
Billy Madison (Sandler) is the heir to his family’s hotel chain, but he’s also the dumbest guy alive. When his dad threatens to give the business to his loathsome vice-president Eric, Billy says he’ll go back through high school and prove he’s not a dummy.
The only problem with that is that he is a dummy and it’s an indisputable fact. He seems to be as close to mentally incapacitated as you can get without being so. Moronic, careless and immature to a super-sized extent, this movie is setting itself up to be a mind-numbing comedy from the outset, which is exactly what it is.
I don’t know if Sandler got off his rocker or what happened here, but this story structure could have been built with Popsicle sticks, glue, and duct tape. There’s no foundation to this film at all. Sandler wanted to make a movie about him doing his thing: acting dumb, making weird faces and voices, and just having a good time, kinda like he does now except he was a lot better at it earlier in his career. This film is like a home video you made with your brother when you were little. Making it was a lot of fun, but when you watch it now, you’re a little embarrassed.
There are no characters in this film. There are people trying to replicate Sandler’s well-known absurdity and brainless acting. Everyone is playing the same role. There are no illusions about what’s going on here.
The acting is very mediocre but there are some fun segments. I have to admit Billy Madison is a very quotable film. From “Come here, Penguin” and “Stop looking at me, Swan” to “Who got the lighter?” “I am the smartest man alive!” and “Ta-ta-ta-today junior!” there are a lot of memorable lines in this film.
Despite all that, there’s no doubt this film brings a whole new dimension to the word “stupid.” It’s one of the most empty-headed, hollow-minded stories I’ve ever seen, which is probably why I have so little to say about this film.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Young Guns, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Spider-Man 3, Divergent)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Starving Games, You’re Next, Thor, Full Metal Jacket, Alien Resurrection)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (A Haunted House, 300: Rise of an Empire, Cowboys and Aliens, Serendipity, Alien)
30-39 Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Stonados, Redemption, Pride and Prejudice, The Contract)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Open Grave, Alien 3, Dark Fury, Midnight Cowboy)
My score for Billy Madison: 46.
A movie that exemplifies the term “dumbfounded,” Billy Madison leaves audiences with an elongated Saturday Night Live skit rather than a comedy that’s trying to give us a good time.