Jack and Jill (dir: Dennis Dugan, 2011/2012) Cert: PG
Does anyone remember Norbit (2007)? The film in which Eddie Murphy seemed hell-bent on destroying the remaining thin tatters of his career? Well the cinematic 'gruesome twosome' Adam Sandler and Dennis Dugan have made their very own Norbit and in an almost impossible twist of fate, it's actually worse than Norbit. In fact, Jack and Jill is simply a soul-destroying and excruciating experience in which no human should ever have to endure.
Jack Sadelstein (Sandler) is a happy family man with a beautiful wife (Katie Holmes) and children. However, if there is one thing Jack dreads, it's Thanksgiving; a true family event which means he must accommodate for his twin sister Jill (Sandler). As Jill moves in for the holiday season, the family prepare themselves for some fireworks.
Admittedly, one has never been a Sandler fan so my expectations for Jack and Jill were staggeringly low anyway, however I was willing to give the film a try and at least hope to smile once or twice. As you can probably gather from the introduction, laughter or happiness was sadly not on my agenda. One does not like to be irrational, but it's almost unfathomable just how terrible this film is - it's simply a mockery of human intelligence and our finances. During one of the film's many appallingly offensive and down-right depraved gags, one caught an image in my mind of Sandler rolling around in millions of dollars laughing at the fact that this utterly repulsive picture will be a box-office sensation, and it is all our fault. Audiences are too happy with mediocrity; they are afraid to stand up and say that this is a travesty, an insult and unacceptable, and because of this, people like Sandler and Dugan will continue on with their brain-rotting adventures draining our hard-earned cash.
|Still from Jack and Jill (dir: Dennis Dugan, 2011/2012)|
The film opens with a series of idiotic twins talking about how great it is to be a twin with added 'yahh's and 'urrmm's as if any audience member is supposed to believe that this is some form of documentary. Then the film continues, and my word does it outstay it's welcome. About 15 minutes in, we are introduced to Jill and we are stuck with her for a further 75 minutes - think of Janice from Friends merged with the Crazy Frog and an American Johnny Vegas; sounds horrible doesn't it? Well if you are lucky enough to be dragged along to this despicable work, then this is who you'll be putting up with.
Perhaps the most depressing, most heart-breaking and ugly thing about Sandler's latest is that it actually stars Al Pacino. At first, you hope he is just a cameo but no, Pacino plays himself and is incredibly attracted to Jill; it's amongst the most degrading screen performances of all-time. It's clear that this was just an easy pay cheque for Pacino but still, this is the man behind Scarface, The Godfather and Heat, and watching him stoop to this level is simply mortifying to witness.
The performances are non-existent, the script is filled with dreadful dialogue and the entire 90 minute duration feels like a life-time. Another big complaint is the certificate - usually I agree with the BBFC but it's appalling how they can classify this racist, sexist and extremely misogynistic picture a PG. The rating guidelines claim the film is a PG because of 'mild sex references, language, comic violence and crude humour', all of which would usually classify a film 12A. This is not acceptable for children on so many different levels; in fact, you're children should not see it because their brains deserve better comedy than this - take them to The Muppets this half-term rather than this disgusting and depraved mess.
One has not a single solitary positive thing to say about Jack and Jill - it consumed 90 minutes of my life and left me feeling more depressed and irritated than the vast majority of Sandler's previous train-wrecks, or indeed most other terrible features. This is poisonous, unwelcome and vulgar filmmaking that should be avoided at all costs. People need to realise that films like this are bad for cinema and indeed bad for you. Sandler and Dugan must be stopped.
There is simply nothing left to say.
By Chris Haydon