HUBIE HALLOWEEN (NETFLIX) (2020)
SYNOPSIS: Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) thanklessly spends every Halloween making sure the residents of his hometown, Salem, celebrate safely and play by the rules. But this year, an escaped criminal and a mysterious new neighbor have Hubie on high alert. When people start disappearing, it’s up to Hubie to convince the police (Kevin James, Kenan Thompson) and townsfolk that the monsters are real, and only he can stop them.
Adam Sandler is definitely not a bad actor. Just check out his recent Uncut Gems and The Meyerowitz Stories. But most of the time, he chooses to be a bad actor or even worse, a terrible writer as proven in his latest Netflix offering, Hubie Halloween.
The usual Happy Madison production logo is a testament of what’s to come meaning fart jokes and goofy gags are a galore. So watch out if you have a weak heart. Sandler attempts to bring audiences back to his heydays. Remember Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy? Sandler plays Hubie Dubios, a variation of Gilmore and Bobby Boucher, an innocent good-hearted man (but shamed by the whole town for being weird) who lives all his life in small-town Salem and works at the deli.
For reasons unexplained, Hubie spends Halloween as a volunteer making sure everyone in Salem stays safe. Of course not everyone appreciates his effort except Violet Valentine (Julie Bowen), Hubie’s crush since school. When Hubie’s bullies start to disappear one by one, the local cop Sgt. Steve Downey (Kevin James) is called into action to solve the mystery. In the end, Downey reluctantly has to team up with Hubie to save the day before it’s too late.
Hubie Halloween mixes comedy with horror and mystery but the concept fails miserably. Certain scenes stretch on for too long with most of the dialogue almost laugh-free. Case in point- the character of Walter Lambert played by Madison’s regular, Steve Buscemi. Walter Lambert appears on-and-off during the movie trying his best to wring out some pathetic laughs and that includes NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal as a female sounding DJ. The movie often ventured into pointless territory making the movie unnecessarily longer than it should be.
Despite a long laundry list of familiar faces, the material is too weak to make much of an impact. Ben Stiller appears in a forgettable cameo. Rob Schneider makes a brief return here. Maya Rudolph does what she can in a short appearance. Ray Liotta is as usual creepy even in a comedy. The good thing is we see more of Sandler’s family members this time. And Noah Schnapp from Stranger Things appear as Violet’s son.
Well the sole entertaining gimmick is Hubie’s trusty thermos. A thermos that stores soup and also perform marvellously liked a swiss army knife. Indeed, there’s not a lot you find redeeming in Hubie Halloween. Although there’s a message about kindness, it’s buried under lots of unfunny low-brow humour.
Hubie Halloween ranks among the bottom of Sandler’s offerings. It’s lazy, juvenile and fares liked a rejected Scooby-Doo episode. The set decorators deserved the highest award in fact. The Halloween decorations seen in the movie surpassed even the standards of theme parks. Watch this if you need some inspirations on Halloween décor this year.
Review by Linus Tee