15 March 2024

Adam Sandler investigates a mysterious spacious gas (but it's not that type of movie)

| Jarryd Rowley
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Spaceman is the latest Adam Sandler movie released on netflix

Adam Sandler and a giant spider look to answer life’s biggest questions in Spaceman. Photo: Netflix.

Adam Sandler’s film career is one of the most interesting of any Hollywood actor.

Sandler started by writing and performing for Saturday Night Live before transitioning into one of the most beloved comedic actors of the 90s and early 2000s.

But despite his clear, quirky and slapstick comedy chops, it appeared that the more famous he became, the worse his movies got. It wasn’t until the late 2010s that Sandler began to dabble in more serious roles like Uncut Gems and Hustle.

Now, Sandler has signed the biggest actor/studio deal with Netflix ever and, as a result, we get movies like Spaceman.

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Spaceman has Sandler playing Czech astronaut Jakub, who has been sent on a six-month mission to investigate a mysterious spacious gas.

As it’s a Sandler movie, I was expecting a few fart jokes. I was slightly disappointed when there weren’t!

Jakub travels to space to avoid his complicated relationship with his wife, Lenka. While trying to escape, the spacecraft is boarded by a huge psychic spider looking to learn about humans.

Now, if all that sounds absolutely bonkers, it’s because it is! Adam Sandler playing a Czech astronaut? C’mon …

In all seriousness, this film is built on the idea of existentialism. Why do humans do what they do, and why are we here? It’s slow and intentionally so. It tries to get the audience to think about themselves.

Now, the important question is, does it succeed?

Not really.

The concept of a giant spider in space learning from Adam Sandler is just a little too wild for a feature-length film. Its initial shock is interesting enough, but once the feeling of, ‘Oh damn, that’s a giant spider’ wears out, so did my interest in the film.

Often, when there is only one human character, it can be tricky for films to make them interesting unless they’re in constant peril. Movies have done it well before. Gravity with Sandra Bullock comes to mind (also a space movie). Spaceman really struggles with this and by the 80-minute mark, it began to feel like a chore to watch, which is not great for a movie that’s not even two hours long.

I don’t think it’s because anyone does a bad job. Sandler gives a fine performance, and Paul Dano as the spider is interesting. However, the idea of an astronaut having an existential crisis with a psychic arachnid would better suit a short film.

It’s a rare case where I believe Sandler’s well-known loud and often obnoxious performances could have helped. Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore having a debate about life sounds a lot more entertaining than a depressed, soon-to-be-divorced man.

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I know that loud, physical comedy wasn’t the goal of this movie, but ironically, there is no sign of life in this space movie.

I hope this doesn’t deter Sandler from continuing to take serious roles because he is a surprisingly great dramatic actor, just look at his speech at the Independent Film Awards for best lead actor, but I do think that Spaceman was a bit of a miss.

The movie looks pretty, even for Netflix. The actors do their best, and the initial shock value was fun. Unfortunately, this movie tries to ask serious questions but doesn’t have the fodder to keep the conversation going. Unlike Sandler’s previous works, it’s not flashy or funny enough to watch in the background, leaving it in a bit of a void.

I don’t see many traditional Sandler fans loving this one, and I also don’t think people looking for a brain-bending experience will be satisfied.

Netflix’s newest original film tries its best to carry its concept, but unfortunately, I think it will soon be lost in space.

Spaceman is available now on Netflix.

Original Article published by Jarryd Rowley on Riotact.

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