Actors: Mark McGrath, Dennis Miller, Patrick Warburton, David Spade, Brittany Daniel
Director: Fred Wolf
Producers: David Spade, Fred Wolf, Doug Robinson, Amy Kim, Adam Sandler
Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, Spanish, English
Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Thai, Spanish
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2019
Run Time: 109 minutes
For all of the grief that Adam Sandler receives for the films he stars in, 2015 was a fairly decent year for the actor. The sequel to the 2012 animated film, Hotel Transylvania 2, broke records at the box office for Sony and Sandler, becoming the highest opening weekend of the actor’s career. And while both Pixels and Ridiculous 6 were overwhelmingly deemed failures by critics, even these have bombs have silver linings. While Pixels did not make what was anticipated, it isn’t nearly as large of a financial upset as every other Sandler live action released in recent years. And regardless of how terrible the experts may agree that Ridiculous 6 is, it has still managed to become the most streamed film within the first 30 days of being released on Netflix.
Unfortunately for filmgoers, Sandler’s minor victories in 2015 are matched by failures even greater than the ones he stars in. Along with Pixels and Ridiculous 6, Sandler’s production company Happy Madison had two other unwanted releases this past year, both of which being sequels that audiences never asked for. These included Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which made the original look like a masterpiece, and Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, tying as the worst titled sequels of the year. Joe Dirt 2 was created for release on Crackle and called the first “made-for-digital” film, and perhaps fittingly feels like the type of film made with the laziness of those aware it would mostly be viewed on cell phones.
Fifteen years after the original film, the story of Joe Dirt has barely moved forward. While he has married Brandy (Brittany Daniel) and has three little girls, Joe is still lacking confidence in himself. There is still a local stud hoping to steal Brandy away from Joe, and he must find a way back to his lifelong love after extreme circumstances separate them. Many of the original characters even return for brief cameos in a futile attempt to recapture what little charm the first film had, but even Christopher Walken and Dennis Miller can do nothing to save this atrocious script from David Spade and Fred Wolf.
As unclear as Ridiculous 6 is as a spoof of classic westerns, Joe Dirt 2 appears to be parodying both The Wizard of Oz and Back to the Future when our hapless protagonist is swept up by a tornado and sent back to 1965. At first it appears that Joe’s interaction with Brandy’s mother (also played by Daniel) may have an effect on the future, though this plotline is dismissed without reason as Joe continues through time. Despite the fact that Joe doesn’t age at all, he continues through future until reaching the moment when he met Brandy in the first film, providing the ‘what if’ alternate timeline that time travel narratives are known for.
Joe Dirt 2 is the paint-by-numbers of filmmaking, hitting all of the expected points and indulging in jokes that feel nearly compulsory. Sandler may have been correct in assuming that the audiences for his films are more likely to watch from home, which he proved with the success of Ridiculous 6 on Netflix, but even this streaming service is somehow still too good for Joe Dirt 2. Even on the free streaming service of Crackle, I have a hard time recommending this sequel to the biggest fans of the original. It may not cost any money to watch Joe Dirt 2, but everyone’s time is worth something and if you are over 15-years-old, it is likely your time is worth more than this film.
The Blu-ray release offers an extended version of the film, just to offer something different from the free version available online. This is also all there is to make up for the fact that no special features are included.
Entertainment Value: 3.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10
Historical Significance: 4/10