Boring, unfunny and vaguely irritating. Instead of laughs you will find yourself groaning frequently if you make the mistake of watching this pile of total rubbish. I like Adam Sandler in general, I found Happy Gilmore funny, The Waterboy was good and so was the Wedding Singer, but this is almost enough to put me off. The film was co written by Sandler and gradually begins to make sense if you see it as a huge expensive ego trip, they all think they are funny but sadly aren´t.
The story is that the Devil (Harvey Keitel) has to choose which son to succeed him to the throne of Hell. He decides none of them and the two "bad" sons escape to earth thereby causing Keitel to disintegrate slowly. Nicky (Sandler) has to get to earth and capture his brothers to bring them back to Hell before his father disappears completely.
You very quickly get the impression that this scenario allowed them to make certain jokes and that is why it was chosen, the problem is the jokes aren´t funny. Having read other reviews of this I notice the stupid voice Sandler puts on all the way through the film has annoyed people. No wonder, it becomes grating after the first line and only gets more annoying from there.
The best character in the film is the guide who looks after Nicky on earth, a wild living, talking dog. The film approaches some funny ideas but tends towards the hamfisted approach. Nicky is also annoyingly goody goody and I think this detracts from the potential humour. He basically runs around trying to capture his brothers who are possessing people and causing trouble. There is one good scene where they possess the priest and the mayor and denounce God at the Sunday service.
The effects are also worthy of mention. This film looks expensive and some of the effects are quite impressive, in fact this film is far more filled with special effects than any of Sandler´s other efforts. The Hell setting, although very traditional, looked quite impressive. The Heaven part was equally cliched and again we have to endure the Americanisation of everything as the angels are like prissy American teen girls (just annoying).
The acting is pretty rubbish too, Keitel does work hard, tongue in cheek, but what is he doing here in the first place? The evil brothers play their parts well enough and the dog is good. A couple of cheesy rockheads follow him around for most of the film, one I recognised from the Waterboy, they were ok. There were also appearances from that American comedian, old guy who makes wife jokes all the time. Quentin Tarantino popped up as a blind priest and proved once again that he has not a single shred of acting talent in his entire body (I guess his ego makes up for it).
The humour is deliberately politically incorrect and would annoy some people. It is that dumb jock, American attitude that delights in ridiculing people who can´t defend themselves. In particular in this film the gay character was badly stereotyped and seemed to be there purely to be slagged off. Add to that the usual toilet humour that pops up in Sandler films and you find yourself cringing slightly. There are some nice touches of humour though, in particular the way Hell runs, Hitler´s appointment with a pineapple and the breast headed servant are funny.
The DVD quality is excellent, crystal clear picture, great sound and a host of extras, it is just a pity the film was rubbish. The only features really worth mentioning were the deleted scenes; there are loads of them, including an alternative ending. Most of the deleted scenes are the same sort of, sketch style, one off jokes which permeate the film and they aren´t really funny either.
Overall this seems as though Sandler and his mates were drunk and came up with the idea of putting all these disjointed sketches into one film, the surprising part is that some one paid loads of money to them to make it. It is interesting that at the height of his success Sandler chose to do this film, I suppose it shows he is staying in the same area of comedy, crass, ridiculous and thick but sometimes funny.