Remember a certain promise Adam Sandler gave about making the worst movie imaginable after his Uncut Gems snub? Well, if he tried with his latest Netflix film, he didn’t do a good job of making it fail because this Halloween comedy is not as bad as expected.
In the small town of Salem, everyone is getting ready for Halloween. And that includes Hubie Dubois, who is both excited and frightful of Halloween. While he is a standup guy, his actions tend to have him bullied by various people in town. Even Sgt. Steve of the local police seems to have a love-hate relationship with Hubie due to his consistency of getting involved in everything. One person who always respects him is Violet Valentine, who raises three foster kids and is Steve’s ex-wife.
All is about to go crazy this Halloween. First, there’s Hubie’s new neighbor Walter Lambert, who may not be who he seems to be. Second, a crazed lunatic has escaped the local mental institution. And if that’s not bad enough, people soon are disappearing within Salem. Hubie’s attempt to tell the police once again become futile, and thus, Steve makes him a member of the “Auxiliary Undercover Unit”. With no one else to help him, Hubie intends to solve the mystery, or mysteries surrounding Salem.
Let’s face it. Uncut Gems may be Adam Sandler’s best film in his entire career because he gets the chance to stretch his acting muscle to a tee. He should have gotten some sort of accolade and when he got snubbed on all accounts, he vowed to make a very bad movie. If Hubie Halloween was intended to be that very bad movie, then sorry to say, but Adam, this is not your worst movie. That honor still goes to Jack and Jill.
This Halloween comedy is actually quite funny with its constant running gags and very diverse cast, including those one would have never expected to be in the film. The film was dedicated to the late Cameron Boyce, who played Sandler’s son in the Grown Ups films. And who better to have two of Cameron’s friends and Jessie co-stars appear in the film. Karan Brar plays Michael Mundi, a high schooler who is just one of the many bullies who plays pranks on Hubie throughout the first half o the film while Peyton List is seen in a cameo appearance as a “dead girl” in a haunted house made for a fundraiser in town.
The film also has some of Sandler’s trademark buddies and co-stars from his SNL days and so on. Kevin James, complete with fake mullet and Becky beard, is funny as Sgt. Steve, who has this sort of love-hate relationship with Hubie. More hate than love. At least he can tolerate Hubie unlike certain others. Steve Buscemi is hilarious as Walter Lambert, the new next-door neighbor who might be harboring a deadly secret and a surprise appearance comes in the form of the escaped mental patient, but no spoilers here. You will have to see the film for yourself.
The running gags of the film even work and look for many references to some of the Sandler classics. The return of Julie Bowen as a female love interest with certain initials and a certain orderly returning will bring to mind Happy Gilmore while there are Billy Madison references and Hubie himself has the voice-like persona of a certain Waterboy. A running gag involves Hubie getting stuff constantly getting things thrown at him on a constant basis and a hilarious one involves Hubie’s mom, played by June Squibb, wearing some crazy meme-like T-shirts throughout the film.
Hubie Halloween is actually a pretty funny Sandler comedy that has references to some of the classic Sandler films and some funny gags. Sure it’s goofy but if you can tolerate any of the pre-Jack and Jill Sandler films, then this is on that level of tolerance.
WFG RATING: B-
Netflix presents a Happy Madison production. Director: Steven Brill. Producers: Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, and Kevin Grady. Writers: Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy. Cinematography: Seamus Tierney. Editing; Brian Robinson, Tom Costain, and J.J. Titone.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Julie Bowen, June Squibb, Ray Liotta, Karan Brar, Maya Rudolph, Tim Meadows, Kenan Thompson, Steve Buscemi, Michael Chiklis, George Wallace, Shaquille O’Neal, Ben Stiller, Jackie Sandler, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, China Anne McClain.