Click review, Click DVD review

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Buy your copy from Amazon.com Click (2006) starstarstarno starno star Starring: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, Sean Astin, David Hasselhoff, Henry Winkler, Rachel Dratch
Director: Frank Coraci
Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy

Nothing screams summer comedy quite like a sci-fi rehash of timeless Christmas films (just kidding), and yet, despite the glaring similarities to “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the new Adam Sandler vehicle appears more scrambled than a late-night porno on an old 15” black-and-white TV. Of course, “Click” could have easily been transformed into an Oscar contender had it been put in the hands of someone a little more capable than Sandler’s usual gang of comic goons (Charlie Kaufman, anyone?), but instead, the comedian seems content with cataloging yet another mediocre effort.

Sandler stars as Michael Newman, a workaholic architect who doesn’t spend enough time with his wife ( Kate Beckinsale) and two kids (Joseph Castanon and Tatum McCann). Constantly sucking up to boss Ammer (David Hasselhoff) with the hopes that he’ll finally be promoted to partner, Michael can’t even relax at home in front of the television without stressing out over how to turn it on. Fed up with the number of remote-controlled gadgets in his house, Michael goes shopping for a universal remote at Bed, Bath and Beyond when he happens upon an eccentric employee named Morty (Christopher Walken) who gives him a “new” remote guaranteed to make his life easier.

Before long, Michael discovers that the remote is more than meets the eye, giving him the ability to pause real life, fast-forward through arguments, and skip mundane activities like showering and traffic. The remote even treats his life like a DVD (complete with a making-of featurette, chapter selections and audio commentary by James Earl Jones), but because it’s also programmed to memorize specific habits, the auto-skip feature goes into overdrive and begins to pass over several years of Michael’s life, causing him to miss out on the finer moments of growing old.

At its core, “Click” is really just a one-joke gimmick that is entirely dependent on the universal remote, and while the first half of the film manages to be quite entertaining (most notably Michael’s teasing relationship with next door brat, Kevin O’Doyle – a name that fans will be more than familiar with), the joke eventually wears thin and the story falls apart faster than an unbalanced Jenga tower. The story is also loaded with ridiculous plot holes, the most obvious one being why Sandler’s character doesn’t just push “Rewind” and do things over again. There are more important issues at hand, as well, like: why can he travel into the future as himself, but can only visit himself in the past?

It’s a shame that Sandler has contracted Jim Carrey Syndrome all over again, because while it’s encouraging to see the comedian try his hand at serious acting, he really just needs to stick to what he does best. Yes, he’s getting older, and undoubtedly doesn’t want to prance around the room like an idiot anymore, but there’s plenty of other comedy that he could be doing in place of the goofball shtick. Even more embarrassing is David Hasselhoff as Sandler’s boss, who apparently thinks he can follow William Shatner’s footsteps to becoming a respectable actor. Fortunately, it’s probably never going to happen, and though both Sandler and Hasselhoff are complete killjoys, Christopher Walken single-handedly improves the final product with his kookiest and, arguably, creepiest role to date.

“Click” isn’t a complete waste of time, but it’s a horrible waste of talent. The source material has been severely undersold, Kate Beckinsale is given almost nothing to do (as are most of Sandler’s female leads), and the script is like two unfinished stories merged to make one film. Fans of the “SNL” alum will undoubtedly enjoy the comedic prowess that he brings to the first hour of the film, but after that, well, you might just wish you had a handy little remote of your own.

DVD Features:
The single-disc release of “Click” contains hours of special features, including a commentary with star Adam Sandler and director Frank Coraci, and deleted scenes. Also included on the DVD are a handful of production featurettes that range from make-up (“Make Me Old and Fat”) and special effects (“FX of Click”), to production design (“Design My Universe” and “Cars of the Future”).

~Jason Zingale

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