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  • Writer's pictureGareth Bradwick

Hubie Haloween ★★

Steven Brill

Starring Adam Sandler, Julie Bowen, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta

After a rare critically acclaimed turn as Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler continues his run on Netflix and returns to his roots as Hubie Dubois in this classically throw-away comedy.

I have to admit I really wasn't a fan of Uncut Gems. It was my own fault as I didn't read anything about it and I should have known it would have stressed me out. I was hoping for an edgy Happy Gilmore and all I got was an anxiety ridden 'Mr Deeds having a bad day.' Watching Hubie Halloween felt like 'The Waterboy' was back in the room, and it was a largely enjoyable experience!

Hubie (Sandler) is a twitchy, local outcast who everyone loves to jibe and prank. Every Halloween, he protects the community during the very well turned out trick-or-treating; not that anyone wants him to. We join the action when things are not quite what they seem and Hubie may need more than his thermos flask and bicycle to deal with this threat.

The first ten minutes was worryingly cheesy and unfunny. There was a feeling that Sandler and the team were trying to impress but it came across as childish, especially Sandler's go-to weird accent that he whips out when he wants to make himself sound stupid.

But after a little while you begin to settle into things and enjoy this film for what it is: an Adam Sandler movie. It's silly, wacky and at points complete nonsense which is exactly what you want when you hit play on one of his movies right? If you're not into Adam Sandler though, this film is one to skip.

The second act does sag and as mentioned, the first 10-15 minutes feel nervous and jittery. One thing that carries an Adam Sandler movie is their general positive outlook and easy-going nature. The positivity feels lacking in this as Hubie doesn't really get a satisfying enough redemption moment to leave you feeling good as the credits roll.

However, the final act is pure 'Happy Madison' with some great moments dotted throughout from Steve Buscemi and Rob Schneider. Plus a surprising radio moment that had me properly giggling.

Sandler's love interest Julie Bowen is great and energetic as ever, while some of the young cast members had their moments too. But just like the other movies, it all rests on the main man's shoulders and although his accent is really annoying, he did alright.

On the whole, this doesn't hit the wacky heights of some of his previous movies, but if it's Adam Sandler you want (and missed from Uncut Gems) then this is definitely something you can stick on over Halloween to pass the time.

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