Little Nicky (2000) / Comedy-Fantasy
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for crude sexual humor, some drug content, language and thematic material
Running Time: 90 min.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Harvey Keitel, Patricia Arquette, Rhys Ifans, Tom "Tiny" Lister Jr., Rodney Dangerfield
Director: Steven Brill
Screenplay: Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, Steven Brill
Review published November 17, 2000
I guess you can't expect much when the writer of such crap films as Ready to Rumble, and the Mighty Ducks films is the ringleader writer-director of a film like Little Nicky (co-written by Adam Sandler and longtime Sandler writer Tim Herlihy). At least the writing decides to take a different direction, with a storyline one wouldn't have expected for an Adam Sandler comedy.
It seems Satan (Dangerfield, Back to School) was due for retirment after 10 millenia of rule in Hell, but decides not to give up the reigns. This doesn't sit well with two of his potential heirs to the throne, Cassius (Lister, Jackie Brown) and Adrian (Ifans, The Replacements), who bolt out of the gates of hell to raise Hell in the real world of New York City. This act is not only wrong in and of itself, but freezing the gates of Hell also puts Satan at risk since it means no souls coming in to feed on. Now Satan's life is disintegrating literally, and Nicky (Sandler, Big Daddy), the sweet but dumb potential heir, is sent through to try to get his evil brothers back to Hell before Dad bites it.
Little Nicky has its share of funny moments, but not enough to make it worthwhile viewing. Most of its laughs occur in the crazy world of Hell depicted at the beginning, and when Nicky and company are out in NYC the film just gets dumber by the minute.
The acting is energetic, and cameo appearances from characters in previous Sandler vehicles spice things up, yet momentum is something Little Nicky as a whole never maintains for very long.
Not the worst Sandler vehicle, but not the best either -- I guess that doesn't say a whole lot either way considering the mediocre comedies he makes. Chalk this up as another bad one in a not particularly distinguished career.
©2000 Vince Leo