2006-12-31 11:05

All Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) wants out of life is a little more time. His wife, Donna (Kate Beckinsale), is as gorgeous and loving as his two children, but his job takes up most of his time. Not that he doesn’t love working as an architect, he just wishes his slave-driving boss (David Hasselhoff) would stop rushing his projects. To top it all off his house now has so many remote controls that he can’t turn on the TV without setting off the coffee machine or his son’s latest toy. Irritated, Michael goes in search of a universal remote to cut through the clutter. He comes across Morty (Christopher Walken) who sells him a one-of-a-kind experimental remote but warns him that he can’t return it. Back home Michael soon discovers just how “universal” the remote is – it can mute, pause, rewind and fast-forward life itself! At first Michael is thrilled, but he soon realises the remote is taking over his life.


Adam Sandler is a smart guy. You may not realise it to watch his movies, but while other comedians like Jim Carrey and Robin Williams have been busting their chops on serious, dramatic roles, Sandler has been raking in the cash by making the same basic movie over and over again. He even produces films nowadays, churning out repetitive Adam Sandler movies without even having to appear in them. Sure, the details may be different for each movie, but all his movies (including Click) have the same tried and trusted template.

So what’s the secret recipe? Take one hard done by schmo - he should be mentally challenged (The Waterboy), socially inept (Billy Madison) or a well-meaning loser (The Wedding Singer). Put the schmo into a little-guy-against-the-world scenario. Add a liberal streak of toilet humour, two handfuls of ample-breasted woman and a large cup of syrupy sentimentality. And voila – a 100 million dollar earning crowd-pleaser with a warm-and-fuzzy moral.

Despite its apparently original premise, Click is really yet another one of these films. Instead of pushing a great idea to the limits, as Charlie Kaufman did in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, writer Steve Koren is content to merely rehash A Christmas Carol with a technological twist. There are some clever details about the way the remote works, but the screenplay takes the easy way out most of the time.

And then there is the humour. How is it that a man given total control over his universe uses this power to fart in his boss’s face and skip foreplay with his wife? And why does this man’s main rival in the film appear to be the 11-year-old from next door? It’s not that the sucker punches and poo-poo jokes aren’t vaguely amusing, it’s more that such a great opportunity for truly original humour was discarded in favour of lowest common denominator drek.

But, however grumpy you may be, Click is still a lot of fun. Watching David “the Hoff” Hasselhoff hamming it up is worth the entry price, as is a chance to see the great Christopher Walken doing his patented creepy guy schtick. And then there’s Sean Astin in a Speedo (yep, a nice, tight, red one) and the unbelievably gorgeous Kate Beckinsale in a series of skimpy outfits. Never mind the fact that two fine actors are reduced to buffoons and sex objects, as long as we get our money’s worth.

Ultimately Click amounts to little more than a series of excuses. It’s an excuse to put Sandler in a fat suit, an excuse to dress Rob Schneider as an Arab sheik, an excuse to put underwear models and fart jokes on screen again. It’s an excuse to expose as many of Beckinsale’s charms as possible without losing the PG13 rating, and an excuse to feature a golden retriever that spends most of the movie making sweet love to an oversized stuffed toy.

As far as his fans are concerned, Sandler needs only the flimsiest of excuses to feed them more their favourite things. Yep, Adam Sandler is a smart guy. It’s just a pity his movies aren’t as smart, or as funny, as he is.

- Alistair Fairweather
Click may have a cool premise - a remote that lets you pause, rewind and fast-forward life - but it's not nearly as funny or clever as it should be.

tahla 2006/10/13 1:03 PM
Ok The movie was alright for me, my gilfriend was crying sometimes and I was laughing most of the time. Its not as bad as they make it sound. The problem is we(viewers) see movies differently to critics
shmo 2006/10/30 2:37 PM
An excuse... I must agree with Tahla, we do see movies differently to critics. This movie was Great!
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