LIAM EASLEY, TRUMPET ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR
Why do we watch NASCAR? Or go to rodeos? Or even watch “Transformers” movies?
The answer is simple: Each one of these repeats the same action that has a very high guarantee of danger, and when that danger strikes, we want to be there to watch it happen. It’s the entire philosophy behind the simile “like watching a car crash.”
Then there are some things where you just cannot wait to take your eyes away – those rare circumstances where the bull rider does not get trampled or a NASCAR driver does not wipe out in dramatic flames, and it ends up just being a disappointment. This exact description can be attributed to one of the many new Netflix Halloween originals, “Hubie Halloween.”
Released on Oct. 7, it seemed like even the higher-ups at Netflix knew that this title was not worthy of a Halloween release date, but due to the four-film contract Adam Sandler signed with Netflix earlier this year, I guess they had no choice but to just go with it.
The main problem with “Hubie Halloween” is that you’ve already seen it before. It’s a reincarnation of 2000s comedy – those cheesy, cliché movies that are generic enough to rake up a profit. Hubie Dubois was a polite and generous pariah who saved the day, got the girl, finally earned the respect of the entire town that relentlessly bullied him and lived happily ever after. It’s because of this that it is unlikely for someone to consciously or consentually rewatch this movie.
Also, like most Happy Madison productions, Rob Schneider and Kevin James serve as co-stars, but this time, Steve Buscemi got caught up in the mix as a werewolf. In fact, Buscemi played the best character in this entire wreck, as his dry-humored role got more laughs out of me than James’ lame portrayal of the deadbeat local cop.
Where this movie truly failed was in its attempts to be funny. What makes a comedy so special is that it takes its audience out of their current reality and places them into one where constant shenanigans are able to unfold. The movie was lacking in this regard, as every “comedic” moment was more stupid than funny. It felt too forced.
“Hubie” also played into the most basic tropes. How many times must I see a comedy where a man riding a bike is distracted by a pretty woman and consequently crashed into a car? Why is it always a woman? Why does the rider always hit a car? Why am I seeing this unfold in a 2020 film? One might call this classic comedy, but the thing about a joke is that it gets older with repetition, not funnier.
There were also plenty of references to previous Sandler movies like “Happy Gilmore” and “Mr. Deeds,” but to the viewer who hasn’t had their brain plagued with Sandler’s dismal past, these will make no sense. It’s like when Arnold Schwarzenegger is in a new movie and he somehow convinces the producers to let him sneak in an, “I’ll be back.” Good job, Sandler, you’re embracing the fact that you’re a has-been.
“Hubie Halloween” had some laughs, but they did not make up for the rest of the film. If you feel the need for classic comedy, bust your gut to “Napoleon Dynamite.” If you want to laugh this Halloween season, try “Scary Movie” or “Evil Dead II.” Watch anything to avoid this tragic misstep.
In the end, it all boils down to this: If a comedy is most comedic when it makes fart and booger jokes, and it’s not centered around children, that’s when the producers need to pack their things and take a walk.