Jack and Jill Review

Lower rungs of comedy are discovered day by day. Jack and Jill, thanks to the benefits of hindsight and the staggering late-game dramatic entries of Adam Sandler, have made Jack and Jill look like an ill-timed cult classic tailor-made to mock not just the product, but the many more placed within it. Coca Cola, Pepto-Bismol and Dunkin’ Donuts are littered throughout and the implication is not just obvious, but woven into the plot with horribly shoddy results. It is not enough for Jack and Jill to have those behind it, not at all. Sandler must push forward adapting little to the post-glory days of his early works and instead revels in this brutal and fascinating piece.

Naturally, this horrific hack-job comedy is reliable and interesting for all the wrong reasons. Al Pacino falls in love with Sandler dressed as a woman, Johnny Depp and Norm Macdonald both have cameos. It is a messy film with little note throughout. It falls to pieces and it’s hard to maintain focus on a feature that has absolutely no focus beyond its blatant product placement. Scenes of Sandler and Sandler performing comedic acts in a cinema, flanked by six logos that brandish “Coca Cola” on anything they could hope to touch. What Jack and Jill struggles with more than its aversion to humour and love of cash is its inability to string its story together coherently.

Hate between two siblings is never signalled as more than an annoying family trope. No reason is given for the hatred between Jack and Jill beyond a closeness that one does not feel for the other. It is unreasonable to assume there will be any context to string these horrendous performances together. With no rhyme or reason to any of it, director Dennis Dugan must struggle on. To assume Dugan has any say in what happens is to refuse the demands of Pacino, who receives enough puns on his other, better works to form some fine lines. The smashing of his one and only Academy Award makes for a marvellous throwaway gag, but that is all Jack and Jill can offer. Just one or two golden lines amid a pool of horrendous, strangely destroyed cast and crew. Sandler’s energy is still up there, it is present and exposed at times where he looks to be having genuine fun.

That much is relatively upsetting, though. Jack and Jill is one of those Sandler projects that does seem like good fun for those on set, but not for those watching at home. A bit like Grown Ups but even worse since Steve Buscemi hasn’t shown up. At least it all passes through with a bit of a blur to it, never impeding on the brain for all that long nor destroying anything within the genre. It was a new low for the time, but eleven years on and it doesn’t seem all that bad. Horrendous, yes, but in its own charming way. A fun feature to watch while firmly gripping a half bottle of whisky. Never let go. It’s the guiding torch through this Sandler-led madhouse.

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