(Herald rating * *)
Don't even think about comparing this MTV remake of The Longest Yard with the 1974 original, regarded by some as one of the greatest football films.
Fans of Sandler's will be pleased to know he's playing the role he does best - the lovable loser. This time he's Paul Crewe, a former football star disgraced by accusations of game fixing. With his career in tatters he takes a drunken drive in his girlfriend's (Courtney Cox) Bentley and ends up in the Texas state penitentiary.
Crewe is propositioned by the football-obsessed prison warden to set up a team to play the guards.
With the help of his mate Caretaker (Rock), and a legendary football coach and fellow inmate Nate Scarborough (Reynolds, who played Crewe in the original), Crewe recruits the biggest, meanest crims he can find and tries to teach them to play.
The film was obviously under budget. There can be no other reason for the random and repetitive product placement of McDonald's burgers. Burgers just keep coming out of inmate's pockets and from the inside of pants as if we've cut to a mini ad inside the movie - which is set in a jail for heaven's sake.
Even though The Longest Yawn, sorry, Yard is a forgettable comedy, elements of the film catch your attention. For example, what the heck has Courtney Cox done to Monica's breasts? Crikey!
The film also has scary moments, such as when we see Burt Reynolds for the first time. Thoughts of Cox's enlarged chest disappear as you ask yourself, what the heck has Burt Reynolds done to his face?
Aside from the frightening surgical spectacles Rock delivers the best laughs, but what might look like Sandler's kindliness to allow his co-stars a share in the comedic spotlight just ends up feeling half-hearted.
CAST: Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds, Chris Rock, Nelly
DIRECTOR: Peter Segal
RUNNING TIME: 113 mins
RATING: M (violence, sexual references and offensive language) SCREENING: Village, Hoyts and Berkeley Cinemas