a critiQal film review Click (2006)

Plot: Michael Newman (Sandler) doesn't have enough time to balance his job and his family. Looking for a little something to make his life easier, he takes a late-night trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond, where he meets the strange Morty (Walken). Morty presents him with what he wants - a remote control to control his universe. Little does he suspect, that's quite literal, as he finds he can rewind and fast-forward his life. But, when the remote gets out of hand, will he miss out on what really matters in life?

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  • ...the viewer should end up coming out all smiles.

From the first previews, the new Adam Sandler film Click looked like fun. A remote control that actually can control life? Wow – what a fun concept. And what better hands should it fall into than ol’ funnyman Adam Sandler? Hey, if Jim Carrey can play God in Bruce Almighty (2003), why not give Adam Sandler a universe-controlling remote control? Seemed like a sure-fire hit to us, so for week 8 of our Summer At The Movies ’06, we decided to give Click a try.

Adam Sandler has branched out over the years. From his beginnings in comedy with “Saturday Night Live” (TV), he jumped into comedic roles in films like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore with ease. But then, as the years went by, he went out on a limb to play a more serious role in Punch-Drunk Love (2002) – and actually showed he could do something other than comedy.

In Click, he returns to a more comedic role, but the life lessons he learns as he goes along really give it a touch of the dramatic at the same time. Thankfully, with his past foray into other films like Punch-Drunk Love (2002), he’s able to be the funnyman and then flip the switch to be more of a dramatic character as well. The movie rests almost solely on his performance to keep the viewer interested throughout the wide time span the film travels through, and he doesn’t let the film – or the viewer – down.

He’s also surrounded by good actors, making his job that much easier. Kate Beckinsale, dropping her gloomy foreboding from her Underworld (2003) films, does a surprisingly good job as Sandler’s wife, aging very gracefully through the years. It’s no surprise that Kate doesn’t want to be in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009), as shooting comedies has got to be a lot easier than shooting big action pieces – and since it turns out she performs well in both, all the more power to her.

Christopher Walken, who has forever ingrained himself into the minds of viewers recently as both a watch-bearing soldier in a memorable sequence in Pulp Fiction (1994) and as a dancing fool in a recent Fatboy Slim music video, does a decent job in his smaller role as Morty, the man behind the remote. His performance, while not earth-shattering by any means, is good enough to be interesting without overpowering the film.

Even old Michael Knight himself, David Hasselhoff, turns off his microphone for a minute to play Sandler’s high-powered boss to perfection. Watching Sandler slapping around David is destined to become a classic moment in film comedy.

With Americans relying more than ever on remote controls, a remote control that controls your universe sounds like a great idea to a lot of people. In Click, Sandler’s character is fun to watch as he experiments with the different things the remote can do. From skipping an argument with his wife to fast-forwarding through getting dressed, traffic, and more, Sandler’s Michael Newman is able to live out the dreams of many of us. Stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Just fast-forward through it, and you’ll be at work in no time. Water running a little cold today? No problem, with the remote handy! But, like anyone who has a great deal of power in their hands, eventually that power may turn against them. Only too late does Newman discover that once he has skipped something once, the remote automatically skips it for him each time. Suddenly, his life is flying by in a blur, and he can’t stop it.

Of course, Click has a good strong moral behind it, best said by Ferris Bueller back in the 80’s: “Life goes by fast. You don’t stop and take a look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” That basically sums up Click – and too many of Americans today. We trudge from one day to the next, going to the same job, letting each day blur into the next. It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut – but is it healthy? How much are we missing by just going through the motions every day? If Click gives at least a few of us pause, then it’s done more than any comedy could expect.

The special effects of Click rely mainly on changing the ages of the characters involved. Whatever time of his life his character is supposed to be in, the special effects folks need to make sure that everyone else has aged with him. They do that spectacularly, keeping the viewer tuned into the film, rather than a flaw in the makeup.

On a side note: with a few scenes that look remarkably like a DVD menu, it will be interesting to see how the DVD menu itself looks when it Click arrives on DVD – will they copy the scenes from the film, with Sandler and Morty standing in the corner, or will it be something more unique? Most likely, it will probably be created to look a lot like the scenes from the film. It will be interesting to find out, though.

Click turns out to be a fun film with a bit more of a heart than we’re used to in Sandler comedies. Rather than being just about the jokes (although the sadly childish dog-and-duck routine does take center stage at first and a few fart jokes are tossed in for good measure), it turns out to be a lot more heartfelt than what most viewers will expect going in. Adam Sandler shines, Kate Beckinsale glows, and Click is worth the money to see in theaters.

While the viewer may be a bit thrown off at first by the more dramatic turn the film takes, they should end up coming out all smiles. Basically, Click clicks.

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