Movie #175 2020: The Longest Yard (2005)

Ah, 2005. The peak of awful Adam Sandler movies. Thank goodness that 2017 marked a Sandler renaissance, with him starring in the brilliant The Meyerowitz Stories and later Uncut Gems.

The Longest Yard is a movie that is chiefly about American football. If you know me whatsoever, you’ll know that the words football and movie sound like heaven to me. So, despite any Sandler gripes, I gave it a go.

Sandler stars as fictional pro-quarterback Paul Crewe, who ends up doing time in prison for various misdemeanours. During his sentence, he is asked to put together a football team comprised of the inmates he is co-habiting with so that they can go up against a team of the prison guards. As you’d expect, it’s not all plain-sailing, as Crewe quickly realises that the games are fixed to go against the inmates, and he has a moral dilemma presented before him.

They showed this movie on Comedy Central so I was expecting something with… comedy? But comedy was in short supply, especially for the first half of the movie. The second half generates a few more laughs, but despite this being made in 2005 – not that long ago – there are a bunch of homophobic in-roads to ‘humour’ that didn’t quite sit right with me. Go ahead, call me a ‘snowflake’. I just feel as though there were plenty of other opportunities to create funny sequences without using the gays as a clown-like device.

I love sports movies no matter what, you know this. So I absolutely loved any football scene within The Longest Yard for obvious reasons. But I must re-iterate that it shouldn’t be advertised as a comedy, and more as a sports drama with a few funny quips. Big up to Nelly though, who somehow manages to be the best actor in this thing despite it being one of only three movies he’s ever starred in.

Storylines here are pleasantly surprising from time to time at least. It has a ridiculously obvious plot, but there’s a little twist involving an untimely death that I definitely did not see coming. So kudos for that. 

It was the final act really saved this movie for me, even if they did rely on that cheesy slow motion stuff in the climactic game too much. I just loved seeing some football on TV again, but that might just be because I miss the NFL what with one thing and another…

One word to summarise this film? ”Ehhhh”.

It was alright. But you’ll be a bit f*cked if you don’t know anything about football. I can’t imagine it’d be enjoyable whatsoever if you didn’t, no matter how great the legendary Terry Crews is.

The Longest Yard is available on Netflix, Sky Cinema, and Now TV in the UK.

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