Two things are unmistakable about the career of Adam Sandler. His movies get a bad reputation for good reason and Sandler was robbed during the 2019 award season following his work on the film “Uncut Gems.” “Uncut Gems” was a solid break from the comedic Sandler that we are used to which also showed that when he tries, he can put away a great drama performance worthy of great praise.
But now we are back to classic Sander comedy. When it comes to Sandler’s Netflix films, the range of quality is anywhere from a decent hit to straight trash. “Hubie Halloween” is a film that is dedicated to the memory of late child actor Cameron Boyce, who was originally set to appear in the movie alongside Sandler but passed away last July due to an epileptic seizure before production began on the Halloween film. Cameron was a favorite of Sandler so when he passed you can tell that there was an effort to produce a quality film worthy of dedication.
“Hubie Halloweem” stars Sandler asis the story of Hubie Dubois, (Adam Sandler) is a delicatessen worker in Salem, Massachusetts. Hubie is ridiculed by the entire city for being weird and mumbling most of the time. For that, he is the butt of many practical jokes. Hubie spends his time during Halloween monitoring the city as the official Halloween hHelper. The day before Halloween, Hubie meets his strange new neighbor, Walter Lambert (Steve Buscemi), and news spreads around town about a convict who has escaped from a local mental institution. As things begin to go south, Hubie must take it upon himself as a volunteer Halloween helper to save the town from dangerous and seedy characters.
Sandler brings in his fellow “Saturday Night Live” alums friends to play oddball roles in this Halloween comedy. Cameos from Kevin James, Ben Stiller, Ron Schneider, and Maya Rudolph are well utilized in short roles that allow more of the comedic bits the film offers to land rather than miss. And in spite of some suggestive jokes in the mix, There is a slight taste of a family friendly element film baked into the film. In spite of some suggestive jokes being tossed into the mix, Sandler does a good job returning to his best form of a lovable goofball that the audience roots for.
As much as this is Sandler’s film, the subplot involves a much younger cast of characters managing their own teenage rom-com in the middle of this craziness. The younger cast members are responsible for much of the movie’s charm, and it is a shame the plot doesn’t center more around them. Doing so would give the film a to give a boost in quality that the film would benefit from.
With that said, all of Sandler’s tropes are in full effect in “Hubie Halloween,” so if you like or dislike immature humor and low IQ characters, then you aren’t going to see anything different that you haven’t seen before. Sandler’s character of Hubie is a bumbling buffoon, and it does take a few minutes to get used to the way that he speaks. The characters don’t have much depth to make any of them stand out, despite the fact that the actors are good enough to save their performances. Having so many noticeable actors has been a standard for Sandler’s movies, but it hurts viewers’ ability to be drawn into the story.
While “Hubie Halloween” certainly isn’t a film that I would lose my job at a news station just to have a cameo in, as one news anchor did, the film is an otherwise harmless comedy that does just enough to get the job done. It’s not the top comedy of the year, but in a year surrounded by depression, it is good just to have a laugh for a couple of hours.