Hubie Halloween brings Lukewarm yet Earnest Gags to Netflix
Written By Matthew Sadowski
Here is a scene from Hubie Halloween: a cop (played by Kevin James) decked out with aviators, a huge clearly fake beard, and a huge clearly fake mullet, chomps on a candy bar as he sits in his cruiser laughing at a video of a guy doing a backflip onto a fence and hitting his crotch. This is the essence of many Adam Sandler comedies. If you do not find this amusing, you will probably not like Hubie Halloween. However, I do find this amusing… in moderation.
The film stars Sandler as the dumb, anxious, yet earnest man-child Hubie, who every year devotes himself to keeping his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts safe during the big Halloween celebration. The population of Salem, however, have always had a deep dislike of Hubie, and mock and bully him at every opportunity. Police Sgt. Downey (James) sees Hubie’s eagerness as naive meddling and always dismisses any “tip” Hubie might call in. However, when strange disappearances begin to occur on Halloween night, it falls to Hubie in his self-appointed role as “Halloween Safety Monitor” to solve the possibly supernatural crimes.
As you’d expect, the majority of the humor comes at Hubie’s expense, especially his habit of screaming wildly at the slightest “spooky” thing (it’s Halloween, so this happens a lot). This ends up being amusing more often than it should be, thanks almost totally to Sandler’s skill at injecting his characters with at least some degree of pathos. The most successful running gag is Hubie being pelted with random objects by unseen townsfolk almost every time he rides his bike. Sandler’s performance makes it clear that this has happened for years to Hubie, but he’s just learned to live with it.
I have mixed feelings about Adam Sandler comedies. On one hand, I am constantly frustrated by the easy toilet humor, the forced slapstick, and the tone that frequently shifts from something you’d see in a movie strictly for kids to the innuendos of a frat boy comedy. But on the other hand, I am sometimes delighted by the easy toilet humor, the forced slapstick, and the tone that frequently shifts from something you’d see in a movie strictly for kids to the innuendos of a frat boy comedy.
Directed by: Steve Brill
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Steve Buscemi
Streaming on: Netflix
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