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Adam Sandler is most well known and successful for his work as a comedy actor, but lately he has been trying out more dramatic roles in movies like Spanglish (2004) and Punch Drunk Love (2002). He does a bit of both in The Longest Yard, a remake of the 1974 Burt Reynolds gridiron-prison movie, directed by Robert Aldrich.Although it?s not quite the Adam Sandler dumb guy comedy fans will be expecting the start of The Longest Yard is ?pure? Adam Sandler. Playing disgraced pro-footballer Paul Crewe, he goes on a high-speed bender after a fight with his girlfriend Lena (Scream?s Courtney Cox). Things become more serious when Paul is tossed into the slammer and backed into a corner by the warden (James Cromwell): either coach the prison footy team or face the consequences. Recruiting the biggest, dumbest and scariest inmates, Paul and his newly formed team the ?Mean Machine? face further hurdles when they play the prison guards in the big showdown match.Like Sandler?s last remake Mr. Deeds (2002) ? a rehash of Frank Capra?s 1936 film Mr. Deeds Goes To Town - The Longest Yard sticks closely to the story but isn?t a patch on the original. It is very much on par with the British-made Mean Machine (2001), the first remake of The Longest Yard that starred soccer-star-turned-actor Vinnie Jones in the role occupied with such grit and conviction by Reynolds in 1974. Substituting soccer for gridiron, ouch! That was a bad movie? Another over-stylised, hyper lad-fest cloned from Guy Ritchie?s Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), which characterised that particular period of late-90s British filmmaking (thank the film gods it?s over).While The Longest Yard doesn?t plumb the sorry depths of Mean Machine, and even with a more cinematic approach to the material ? which many of Sandler?s previous films have lacked ? this is still a pretty ordinary film, probably more so than it should have been. Sandler plays it kind of straight and leaves most of the comedy to Chris Rock who is as usual is excellent. Like ?Caretaker?, his character?s namesake, Rock takes care of the business of comedy as Crewe?s right-hand man. But his presence is all too brief. ?Poof? and Burt Reynolds somehow magically and mysteriously appears in a support role but is absolutely wasted in it. And the jokes are so tired I could hear them yawning from the bleachers. Ultimately The Longest Yard is all a bit by the numbers?So it?s not much of a sports movie, it?s not much of a prison movie and it?s not much of an Adam Sandler movie. Three strikes you're out I?m afraid.

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