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Little Nicky (Adam Sandler) is the mild-mannered son of the Devil (Harvey Keitel) and lives in the Hades his father has ruled for 10,000 years. Nicky’s elder brothers Adrian (Rhys Iffans) and Cassius (Tommy “Tiny” Lister) believe their father should abdicate and escape to earth to wreak havoc. Dispatched by dad to bring the unruly duo back to hell, Nicky negotiates the dangerous streets of New York where he falls in love with fashion designer Valerie (Patricia Arquette).

Even the bulk of Adam Sandler’s constituency stayed away from this abysmal entry in the gross out stakes. While there's almost nothing funny about Little Nicky there is a lot that’s scary. It’s scary looking at Harvey Keitel in a black cat suit as the Prince of Darkness, Quentin Tarantino as a fire and brimstone preacher who keeps popping up to annoy us and Patricia Arquette playing the love interest of Sandler’s most pathetic (so far) screen character. What on earth are they (and Reese Witherspoon and Welsh talent Rhys Iffans) doing in this travesty? Not enhancing their reputations, that’s for sure.

One thing you’ve got to hand Sandler is his lion-hearted approached to chasing a laugh, no matter what. If it means playing the son of the devil as a hunchbacked, speech-impediment affected heavy metal freak, then so be it. For your hard-earned entertainment dollar you also get to see Hitler dressed in French maid’s outfit having a pineapple whacked into his arse, one evil brother extracting the other from his nose, a man with two breasts on top of his head, 10 year-olds vomiting outside a bar and a talking dog with a dirty mind. This is the kind of play you put on in the summer holidays with your friends when you’re twelve years old and everyone thinks it’s the funniest show on earth, except your embarrassed mother who can’t believe she’s raised a child with such bad taste and poor comic timing. Sandler and his fully grown mates get away with it here for real.

Loads of extras will keep die-hard fans happy. The commentary track is simply three guys goofing off without much substance and 22 deleted scenes give you almost another movie’s worth of stupefyingly unfunny gags. The hands-down highlight of this release is an entertaining documentary on heavy metal music featuring the likes of Ronnie James Dio, Ozzy Osborne and lizard-tongued Kiss front man Gene Simmons. Is it just me or do other people psychologically superimpose his Kabuki mask make-up when watching an old Jean Simmons movie? Must be that Satan-worshipping metal music influence.
Richard Kuipers

Published August 30, 2001

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(US) (2000)

CAST: Adam Sandler, Harvey Keitel, Rhys Iffans, Patricia Arquette, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Rodney Dangerfield, Quentin Tarantino.

DIRECTOR: Steven Brill

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: August 16, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES: Widescreen 1.85:1; Audio Commentary with Adam Sandler, Director Steven Brill and co-writer Tim Herlihy; 22 Deleted Scenes; Trailer; TV Spots; Behind the Scenes Featurette; Documentary “Satan’s Top 40-Heavy Metal Heaven”; Music Video—POD “School of Hard Knocks”; Alternate Ending; Language: English; Subtitles: English.

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