MovieMantz Reviews: 'Click'

"Click"
Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale
Directed by Frank Coraci

Since a magical remote control turns out to be the cause of Adam Sandler’s problems in his latest comedy, I couldn’t help but hope that a real fast-forward button would appear out of nowhere and bail me out of the last 40 minutes.That’s because despite an amusing set-up that aims higher than you’d expect from a Sandler comedy, "Click" tunes out with an ending that’s sappy, redundant and not nearly as funny as the hour or so that preceded it.

Sandler plays Michael Newman, a hard-working architect who’s so busy slaving away for his ungrateful boss (David Hasselhoff) that he doesn’t have enough time to spend with his beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) and adorable kids. In a fit of frustration after he can’t figure out which of his many remotes will control his TV, Michael embarks on a late night excursion to find an all-purpose remote that will control everything.

He gets more than he bargained for at Bed, Bath & Beyond, when an eccentric employee named Morty (Christopher Walken) gives him an experimental gadget that will quite literally control every aspect of his life. With just the click of a button, Michael can turn down the sound of his barking dog, fast-forward through an argument with his wife or freeze-frame his boss so he can punch him in the face without his ever knowing about it. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But the device proves too good to be true when it starts acting on its own, skipping over key moments of his family’s life without his input. With the remote now controlling Michael rather than the other way around, how long will it be before it’s too late to rewind to the beginning so he can have a second chance and start all over again?

Since Sandler co-produced "Click" through his Happy Madison shingle, you can pretty much count on the same brand of adolescent charm and lowbrow humor that made "The Waterboy," ?Big Daddy? and "Anger Management" some of his biggest hits.But it’s much more ambitious than those movies, thanks to a premise that recalls classics like "It’s a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol" and a bigger budget to accommodate the extensive makeup and visual effects.

But after an amusing first hour, "Click" turns into a different and much more serious movie that’s not really compatible with the funnier one that preceded it.The first few times Michael jumps into the future and doesn’t like what he sees, he learns his lesson about how good he had it before. But then he keeps jumping further and further into the future, resulting in a slow-paced, redundant and rather depressing scenario that concludes with a lame ending.

Sandler pretty much plays the same big kid that he always plays in his comedies, but at least he gets to share the screen with Kate Beckinsale as his long-suffering — and very hot — wife.But leave it to the always-reliable Christopher Walken to steal the show as the mysterious figure who hooks Sandler up with his troublesome new gadget, while David Hasselhoff seems to be having a blast as Sandler’s self-absorbed boss.

Despite its promise, "Click" turns out to be another disappointing film where a hard-working father resorts to unconventional means to make time for both his work and his family. The other was back in 1995 with "Multiplicity," when Michael Keaton had himself physically duplicated to accommodate his needs. At least both movies are guaranteed to play better at home on DVD — that way you can fast-forward through the boring parts and click them off when you’ve had enough.

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