Learn to Football at The Longest Yard

Oct 20, 2005 (Updated Oct 20, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Adam Sandler/Chris Rock combine for a knockout comedy, big hits, Nicholas Torturro is hilarious

Cons:unsuspecting scene near the end

The Bottom Line: The Longest Yard 2005 may not be an award-winning movie, but it is still damn funny.

What do you get when you take a bunch of unruly convicts, give them a football, and give them a chance to play the guards in a traditional football game? Utter chaos, and very far from traditional. After watching Adam Sandler in the sub-par Spanglish, The Longest Yard fit Sandler’s character a lot better. I went and saw this at the drive-in with some really close friends in early June. I was so ticked off about Will Ferrell in the subliminal Kicking and Screaming that I focused on tearing it apart in my review and never got around to TLY. Adam Sandler takes us on a wild ride in TLY with so many one-liners and sexual innuendos that it’s almost a sin.

Adam Sandler plays the role of Paul Crewe. Paul was an all-star MVP quarterback in the NFL before he was kicked out of the league for “shaving” points, or intentionally helping the other team win. Now he lives with his girlfriend Lena (Courteney Cox). One night she’s having some type of party and goes up to her room to find Paul lying on the bed, watching old tapes of his glory days. She tells him to “forget about football, because it has forgotten all about you,” and tells him to get dressed and hands him some French sailor looking outfit that looked more suitable as a Halloween costume to me.

Things start rolling, and the next thing we know Paul has taken her nice Bentley and a six-pack for a wild ride through the night. His girlfriend reports the car as stolen and a wild and hilarious car chase ensues, ending in Paul’s arrest (he didn’t spill his beer though). Fun can come with a price though. In Paul’s case, a prison sentence of three years. He is sent to Allenville Penitentiary in Allenville, Texas. Now, in Texas, there are two things they value above all else: the law and football. Put the two together, and you have the reasoning behind why Warden Hazen (James Cromwell) pulled so many strings to get Paul at Allenville. The Warden wants Paul to coach the penitentiary football team made up of the various prison guards in the facility, thinking that Paul’s “superstar” past may lead to a win against the other prison that they are suppose to open the “season” with.

When Paul gives the Warden a bit of his expert advice to play a crappy team so that the guys can get their self-esteem up before actually playing the really good team, the Warden reassigns him on the spot. Paul is now to form and organize his own team of inmates where he’ll be the coach, quarterback, and captain; to play the guards. When Paul first got to the penitentiary he became pals with “Half-a-star” Caretaker (Chris Rock), and so he acts as Paul’s little secretary as he puts up posters for “tree-outs” for the team. The guys that show up for try-outs are an odd, ineffective bunch. From little “Back freckle” Brucie (Nicholas Torturro) to the gentle giant Switowski (Bob Sapp - “would you teach me to football?”), it looks like they have absolutely no hope in doing anything against the guards. What they need is some real bad boys, which self-appointed assistant coach Nate Scarborough (Burt Reynolds - was Paul Crewe in the 1974 The Longest Yard) suggests that they find.

I haven’t seen the original movie that Burt Reynolds starred in last century (okay, 1974), but this remake is an awesome movie that has its merits. Adam Sandler and Chris Rock throw out so many one-liners that at times my stomach didn’t have time to prepare to laugh again. Though they run the show, they certainly don’t steal it. All of the guys throw in jokes and Nicholas Torturro’s character Brucie is a “laugh out loud” on its own. The Longest Yard has one heck of a wrecking crew with Nelly (Megget), Michael Irvin (Deacon Moss), retired football mammoth Bill Romanowski (the most feared player in the NFL) that plays Guard Lambert’s role, and big wrestlers Kevin Nash and Steve Austin also play as Guard Engleheart and Dunham, respectively. Not only was the movie killer, but the soundtrack went with the movie so well that it felt natural. The music didn’t seem forced nor did it ever seem like it didn’t belong, it was just right from beginning to end with artists like Nelly, Eminem, and The Game providing the drive force behind the soundtrack.

There was never really a dull moment. The movie flows very nicely so that it’s not too slow so that it gets boring, but it’s not so fast that you miss what’s happening. It may not be award-winning material, but it certainly has comedy material, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The Longest Yard has several brutal hits, language, and tons of sexual innuendo that would probably make it unsuitable for anyone under 13, but every bit of it is entertaining. When Adam Sandler and Chris Rock get together, it’s a sure thing that they’re going to deliver a funny and entertaining movie.

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