Hubie Halloween (2020)



Movie Title: Hubie Halloween

Year Released: 2020

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1h 43min

Genre: Horror, Comedy

Director: Steven Brill

Writer: Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta, Rob Schneider, June Squibb, Kenan Thompson, Shaquille O'Neal, Steve Buscemi, Maya Rudolph, Michael Chiklis, Tim Meadows, Karan Brar, George Wallace, Paris Berelc, Noah Schnapp, China Anne McClain, Colin Quinn, Kym Whitley, Lavell Crawford, Mikey Day, Blake Clark, Tyler Crumley, Ben Stiller, Dan Patrick

Review: It's October 31st in Salem, Massachusetts, and a town's eccentric, devoted community volunteer and the good-natured object of his fellow citizen's derision and meanest pranks, finds himself in the midst of a real investigation, for a real murderer. With Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) on the case, this year is a full-blown Hubie Halloween!

In many respects this film is a throwback to the quintessential 90's Adam Sandler films that we all know and love (or hate I suppose). I personally, have always loved many of Sandler's 90's classics such as Billy Madison (1995), Happy Gilmore (1996), The Wedding Singer (1998), and The Waterboy (1998). While Hubie Halloween isn't a very good movie, I did feel the entertainment value was there, as there were a ton of callbacks to the aforementioned classics throughout the entire film. My Hubie Halloween viewing experience was a mixed bag of eye rolls, exciting cameos, and well-placed homages evoking childhood nostalgia. With that said, there were enough elements in this film that made me smile or chuckle to the point where I actually found myself enjoying it despite it's obvious shortcomings. There's a cameo just a couple of minutes in that had me giddy with laughter. Not to mention, Julie Bowen plays Hubie's love interest, Violet Valentine. This follows the Sandler trope of having all of his characters' love interests having the double V initials. Veronica Vaughn (Billy Madison), Virginia Venit (Happy Gilmore, also played by Bowen), Vicki Vallencourt (The Waterboy, Valerie Veran (Little Nicky (2000)), and now Violet Valentine has entered the fray. Every iconic actor that has appeared in a Sandler film at some point along the way seemingly plays a role in some capacity. Plus, there is no shortage of other references that I won't divulge here. Part of the fun is watching the film and coming across these yourselves.

From a plot standpoint, Sandler plays Hubie Dubois, who's bullied relentlessly by the residents of Salem, Massachusetts despite wanting to bring joy into the world and help others. The name Hubie lends itself to plenty of toilet humor. Hubie Dubie? Yep. Hell, even Ray Liotta calls him "Pubie" five minutes into the movie. The plot is beyond silly despite the fact that it ends up having some sweet sentiments conveyed at the end. This movie felt like an excuse for Sandler to get his pals together, talk in a goofy voice, evoke nostalgia, and throw his hat into the Halloween genre. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but this movie certainly isn't for everyone. I didn't love this film by any means, but I'm glad that I watched it. It was a treasure trove of unoriginal cheap scares, slapstick gags, and fart jokes. Yet there were so many little redeeming qualities that made this film entertaining. If you grew up on 90's Sandler silliness, then this just might be what the doctor ordered this Halloween season.

Stars (out of 4):
       

Fun Fact: Hubie has a poster of Burt Reynolds from Smokey and the Bandit (1977) in his room as a tribute to the late actor who starred alongside him in The Longest Yard (2005).



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