Actors: David Spade, Brittany Daniel, Dennis Miller
Director: Dennie Gordon
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2018
Run Time: 91 minutes
The films to come from Adam Sandler’s company, Happy Madison, have reached a level of such terrible reputation in the last decade that I somehow imagined even the worst productions from years ago to surpass the likes of Jack and Jill or the Grown Ups franchise. I may have been allowed to keep this disillusion going, as I can’t imagine a situation beyond the need to review a newly released Blu-ray that ever would have led me to re-watch Joe Dirt. But because this awful comedy is receiving an unnecessary straight-to-video sequel nearly 15 years after its release, Joe Dirt has been given a high definition release in conjunction, just to remind us how little the franchise needs to be continued.
In yet another unsuccessful attempt at fleshing a story which would have been better as a Saturday Night Live sketch into a fully developed storyline, Joe Dirt gives David Spade another opportunity to star in a film without Chris Farley. Rather than playing the snide wisecracking persona that has become the mainstay of most his characters, Spade attempts to make audiences like him with the sympathetic and optimistically kind-hearted Joe Dirt. Don’t worry, though, because amidst his gentle personality there is still plenty of room for the objectification of women and endless poop jokes. More ridiculous than the number of times bathroom humor carries a scene is the attempt to make audiences care about this absurd character.
Joe Dirt may be a redneck with an awful haircut, but it’s not entirely his fault. The style of his hair is impeded by the fact that it is a wig which melded to his head at a young age, so that he rocks the mullet out of necessity rather than choice. This is somewhat confusing, because he really is a redneck in every other way. Going sleeveless in as many shirts as possible and growing out sideburns to match his awful hair, Joe seems to embrace the style that the film then tries to convince us is incidental.
He works as a janitor at a popular radio station in Los Angeles, living in the boiler room in the building despite the opening scene contradictorily showing him arriving at work, and is noticed by a shock jock DJ (Dennis Miller) looking for an easy target to make fun of. Over the course of three days, Joe tells the story of the search for his long-lost parents to a fanbase of listeners who all remain in the same place wearing the same clothing all three days of the narrative. Even more miraculous is the listeners’ ability to know what Joe and the other people in his story look like, almost as if they are watching the same movie of the flashbacks that we are. This is the kind of logic that is the foundation of Joe Dirt, which I suppose is fitting for a film with Kid Rock as a co-star and a meet cute involving a dog’s testicles frozen to a porch.
With promotion of the sequel being the primary reason for this release, it is no surprise that the extras include a featurette about the making of the new film that nobody asked for. Also included are two commentary tracks, with David Spade and director Dennie Gordon. Those who complain about the lack of female directors can champion this film as having one, though I think the bigger problem is a lack of female directors who have the ability to make good movies. This is not a good movie, and the deleted scenes don’t add anything to the mess. There is probably more to laugh at in the outtakes and blooper reel than the entire film. The extras also include the original theatrical trailer.
Entertainment Value: 4.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10
Historical Significance: 3/10