Just in time for the spooky holiday season, “Hubie Halloween” has arrived on Netflix as part of the comedian’s multi-movie deal with the streaming service. Some of you may have stopped reading after that first sentence, and I won’t hold it against you.
Many people are so uptight about Adam Sandler comedies that they are quick to dismiss anything with his name attached that doesn’t involve a gritty or dramatic performance from the actor. It seems they forget that it’s his flair for outrageous buffoonery that originally put Sandler on the map, and it’s still what he does best (at least as far as his diehard fans are concerned). Of course this film is dopey and moronic, but it also provides a lot of laughs and is sure to delight fans — which is exactly what movies like this are supposed to do.
October 31 is the best day of the year in the infamous witch trial town of Salem, Massachusetts, and local eccentric Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) is ready to resume his yearly duties as the town’s Halloween monitor. The grown man still lives with his mom (June Squibb) often serves as the butt of the townsfolk’s jokes, their meanest pranks, and their bullying behavior. Hubie is earnest in his volunteer monitoring job because he wants to keep his small community safe, annoying the town cops (Kevin James and Kenan Thompson) in the process. Nobody takes him seriously when Hubie finds himself in the midst of a serious investigation for a real murder mystery after several citizens go missing.
There’s no sugar coating the fact that this movie is really stupid. It’s packed with goofy sight gags, low brow humor, and poop jokes. Sandler needlessly talks with an annoying accent a’la Bobby Boucher in “The Waterboy,” and his real-life wife and two daughters have supporting roles even though they are all terrible actors. The flaws don’t matter, especially if you’re seeking out mindless fun. Plenty of references to other Happy Madison movies are thrown in, there’s a supporting cast of Sandler regulars (Rob Schneider, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows and Maya Rudolph), and there are enough kooky antics to delight fans (including inspired visual jokes like the rotating wardrobe of vulgar t-shirts that his mother buys at the local Goodwill).
“Hubie Halloween” is a one-and-done type comedy movie, and it’s not likely to become a family holiday tradition. It’s a great choice if you’re in the mood for some silly, mindless fun, however.