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LITTLE NICKY

SYNOPSIS:
Thereís trouble brewing in hell when the Devil (Harvey Keitel) announces heíd rather reign for another 10,000 years than retire and secede to one of his three incumbent sons. This is just fine with his facially disfigured and meekly minded son Little Nicky (Sandler), but it really pisses off his power-hungry sons Adrian (Rhys Ifans) and Cassius (Tiny Lister). When Adrian and Cassius escape hell (freezing the gates behind them) and turn New York City into sin city, the Devil starts to slowly decompose. Itís up to Little Nicky to head uptown, capture Adrian and Cassius and save his Dad from ultra-damnation.

"If youíve seen the preview trailer for Little Nicky, you may have commented to the person next to you how god-awful this movie looks. Are they trying to dare us to see something this bad? Are they asking how bad a preview can be before it actually stops us from seeing the movie? How much will we swallow? Having downed a couple of Panadol in preparation for the ensuing 90-minute migraine, itís pleasing to report that this is not the worst movie of the year (thatís a tie between Madonnaís The Next Best Thing and Travoltaís Battlefield Earth). It isnít good by any measure Ė just a silly escape from the mental (and physical) world that will have you smiling here and there. Smartly, Adam Sandler plays a straight-laced character, giving more laughs to his kooky supporting cast. Notably, Reese Witherspoon plays an angelic Mom, Patricia Arquette a geeky love interest, Rodney Dangerfield a horny grandpa-Lucifer, and Quentin Tarantino a madly possessed, blind preacher. Other supporting cast members fall flat on their faces. Harvey Keitel proves he has "Iíll do anything" stamped on his forehead with a limp rendition of Beelzebub, Jon Lovitz is simply stupid as a peeping-tom pervert, and heir-apparents Ifans and Lister provide unattractive anti-Christs. But the best lines go to Sandlerís lovable bulldog sidekick Beefy, and with a bulldog in an Adam Sandler movie, youíre sure to get lots of crude one-liners and site-gags. If seeing a bulldog cock its legs, take a dump, or hump a poodle makes you laugh, you may well like Little Nicky. If youíre a real movie fan, the cameos are cool. But if youíre an Adam Sandler fan, this is not near his best."
Shannon J. Harvey

"After the appallingly bad Big Daddy, I was a little sceptical about Adam Sandlerís new project Little Nicky. Thankfully, compared to his earlier work, Little Nicky isnít half bad Ė but compared with anything with some style and brains, it still stinks. The film is a mish mash of ideas and jokes that work only occasionally. There are three credited scriptwriters, (which probably indicates at least twice that number worked on the film) and it has the feel of something cobbled together with little care. As a result, Little Nicky operates only on the most base level and even then, largely fails. The humour is lowbrow at best and crass at worst. Itís no coincidence that the only jokes that work are those referencing pop culture icons like Ozzy Osborne and Henry Winkler. The story itself is so bad, itís not even worth getting into. Sandler, as the bumbling son of Satan, is his usual one-note self, bringing little but goofy facial expressions to the production. A number of high profile actors were attracted to the project, including Harvey Keitel, Patricia Arquette, Reese Witherspoon and Rhys Ifans. For them, this is nothing less than embarrassing; and actors of their calibre deserve much better material than this. The only thing thatís even mildly interesting in this film is the production design, with its Dantean vision of Hell. Having sat through Little Nicky, Iíve come to the conclusion that if there really is a Hell, the devil has probably now eschewed fire and brimstone; and tortures his minions by making them watch Adam Sandler movies all day."
David Edwards

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

LITTLE NICKY (M)
(US)

CAST: Adam Sandler, Patricia Arquette, Harvey Keitel, Rhys Ifans, Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr., Rodney Dangerfield

DIRECTOR: Steven Brill

PRODUCER: Jack Giarraputo, Robert Simonds

SCRIPT: Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, Steven Brill

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Theo van de Sande

EDITOR: Jeff Gourson

MUSIC: Teddy Castellucci

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Perry Andelin Blake

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 2000







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