Little Nicky

In Hollywood, the fish out of water story has long been a staple of storytelling. One of the basic elements for comedy is to take a character out of a normal setting, and insert them into a new situation, and see how they cope with the new situations that arise. For example, look at “Back To The Future” we saw what happens when the hero, Marty, was sent back in time, and has to face not only the 1950’s. but his parents as teenagers. Comedy resulted from a character of the modern age, having problems with situations, customs, and locations that were different from what he was used to.
Imagine what would happen if you were the offspring of an Angel and Satan, and the new location in question was New York City. Such is the premise of the new Adam Sandler comedy “Little Nicky”

The film tells the story of the current Devil(Harvey Keitel) and his three sons. It seems that every 10.000 years, the Devil can decide to step down, or turn control over to a son. The Devil has two very greedy and ambitious sons, who want nothing more that to rule both Earth and Hell. The third son, Nicky, is a passive, gentle being, who is more concerned with listening to music, and sharing time with his father. As a result, his brothers, who are said to have taken a shovel to him resulting in Nicky having a stooped appearance, and slurred speech, often torment Nicky.
When Satan decides he wishes to stay in power for another term, his two power mad sons storm off to Earth determined to wreck havoc. The problem is that in leaving, they have frozen the gateway to hell preventing new souls from arriving. To further complicate matters, without new souls, Satan will dissolve in a week leaving the throne open to the sons to rule. The only person left who can save the day is of course, Little Nicky.
Nicky soon arrives in New York, and being his first time on Earth, he has to learn all sorts of things that we take for granted, such as eating, sleeping, and not walking in front of speeding, trains, buses, and so on. Nick is assisted by a talking dog who is a friend of his father, and a couple of metal heads who claim to be big fans of his fathers work. Patricia Arquette is along as a quite art student who is Nicky’s love interest. Nicky is very unadept at using his powers, his big evil was changing a Coke to a Pepsi. In the course of the film, Nicky learns more about his family tree, and prepares to save the Earth and his father.

The film is not as funny as Sandler’s previous films such as “The Waterboy” nor as sweet as “The Wedding Singer” and “Big Daddy”. While parts of the film were very uneven, and jokes often were not setup well, the film does have some funny moments, and some great cameos. That being said, the film is a disappointment, especially when compared with Sandler’s earlier body of work. Here is hoping for better from this talented performer the next time out.

2.5 stars out of 5