"He's always chasing the pot of gold, but when he gets there, at the end of the day, it's just corn flakes."
Steven Koren & Mark O'Keefe
My rating: 3/5
Click is not at all what I had expected. The trailer had suggested a straight-forward Sandler flick. It was far more epic and emotionally substantial than advertised.
The story centres around Michael, a very busy architect whose career is preventing him from appreciating his lovely wife and two children. When he goes to buy a universal remote control, he meets a loopy sales assistant Morty(Christopher Walken) who takes his request literally. He sells him a remote that controls the universe. It can rewind, fast-forward, pause, and even has an audio commentary by James Earl Jones.
At first it took the form of every other Adam Sandler film, he gets the remote and does a number of childish, silly pranks with it. However, as the film progresses, it becomes something much more dark and begins to feel more like sci-fi. As the pranks and jokes slow down, Sandler finds he has lost control of the device. It has programmed itself, based on his preferences, to fast-forward through sex, arguments, illness and promotions. This meant that he was losing years at a time and over the course of these years he grows stronger at work but loses the love of his wife and kids. He can see himself becoming a soulless executive who has lost his passion for life and is merely going through life on "auto-pilot". It shares the morals and imagery of Frank Capra's films and even comes across as a rather loose adaptation of "It's a Wonderful Life".
The supporting cast were very funny and suitable for the most part. David Hasselhoff is great as Michael's arrogant boss and Henry Winkler is sufficiently charming as his underappreciated father. However, it is Christopher Walken's quirky turn as the enigmatic Morty that really stands out. He does his typical crazy, unpredictable character but goes slightly more over-the-top for this role which works perfectly. Kate Beckinsale was disappointing as Michael's wife. Although stunningly beautiful, she was completely dull and gave no characterisation to the role.
Another weak point was the unsuitable inclusion of classically Sandler-eque jokes. The script comes across as having started its life as a thoughtful sci-fi with strong links to old Hollywood. However, it is seriously dragged down by the infantile jokes that recall every other lazy Adam Sandler film.
Having said that, however, Sandler does a good job here creating a likeable everyman that we can relate to. He's a nice guy who feels completely powerless in his life and goes to extreme lengths to change that. When he can, he shows his love for his family but makes a number of mistakes throughout the film that leads to the disastrous eventuality. In some ways this is probably Adam Sandler's most varied role and possibly his toughest to date, He handles the material competently and while he's no Jimmy Stewart, he admirably wins the audiences sympathy.
The film is, at best, an existential examination of modern middle-class life but is dragged down by a disappointing ending, some cringe-worthy sappy scenes, and some big dumb Sandler jokes. But overall I found it entertaining and actually quite charming.
-Charlene Lydon 6/10/06