CLICK

 

Review by Mark Walters

 

Just about everyone out there has wished at one time or another that they could either have more time, or even stop time just long enough to do things you'd normally never get away with.  So just imagine having a remote control that controls your life.  You could fast forward past the boring or tedious moments, or pause a moment in your life.  You could even rewind to a moment you wanted to remember.  Having that kind of control could be great, but the key is not abusing the power.  Think you could handle it?

 Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is an interior designer hoping to make partner at the firm he works for.  His wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale) and children Ben (Joseph Castanon) and Samantha (Tatum McCann) are beginning to feel left out, as Michael spends a majority of his time at the drafting table instead of with them.  His unsympathetic boss Mr. Ammer (David Hasselhoff) keeps dangling a potential promotion, which Michael feels is the most important thing for him and his family.  He can't seem to catch a break, even having trouble just using the TV remote.  Michael finally gets fed up, and leaves the house one night taking an impromptu trip to Bed Bath and Beyond searching for a universal remote control, based on his son's suggestion.  While there he stumbles into a back room marked "Beyond", where he finds an eccentric technician named Morty.  This strange character hands Michael a remote control, saying it's the answer to all of his problems.  At first the remote seems like a simple one, controlling his television with ease.  But Michael soon learns it has the power to control time and just about everything else in his life.  Morty shows up a few times to help walk him through its features, but without realizing the consequences, Michael soon learns that having this kind of power my not necessarily be a good thing after all.

 When I originally saw the trailer for this film, I honestly expected a hacked out piece of Hollywood crap with a one note gimmick.  I was surprised to find a very funny and at several times heartwarming film that does a nice job telling its story.  The casting is great.  Adam Sandler does his usual underdog character, but isn't afraid to show a very serious emotional side as well.  Some of the film's later moments really give him a chance to shine, and it was nice seeing a more intense side to the actor.  Kate Beckinsale is pretty good as well.  She's basically playing the disappointed but accepting wife character, but her chemistry with Sandler works, and she looks better than ever.  Christopher Walken is used sparingly, but is effective nonetheless.  His character of Morty gives just enough exposition to keep us in the loop, but let's Sandler figure out things for himself, whether they be good or bad.  David Hasselhoff does a nice job playing the sleazy boss role, and in many ways is perfectly cast.  There are some lightly used but great supporting performances by Henry Winkler (one particularly terrific scene late in the film) and Julie Kavner as Michael's parents, plus Sean Astin as the Speedo-wearing father figure that's missing from Ben and Samantha's lives.  I was surprised but also glad to see that Sandler didn't forcefully include his frequently used buddies like Alan Covert and Peter Dante, as that could've cheapened the effect of the story, and turned this into just another Adam Sandler film.  The movie's use of skipping around in time allows for some hardcore makeup usage, which is done very well.  As people get older, it's believable, and never overplayed like it could've been.  In fact just about all of the performances, even the kids, are very strong throughout.

While the first part of the film is rather amusing and at times laugh out loud funny, the second half gets rather emotional and thought provoking.  The remote's capability to fast forward through tedious moments of time seems great at first, until Michael finds out that losing that time can also be very upsetting.  This thing isn't the terrific gift he first expected, but rather a cheating mechanism that can be abused a little to easily.  Some of those moments in time, that at first may seem like a bother, can also be tragic if you miss them.  The film does a nice job of explaining the logistics of the remote, even going so far as to note what happens to the "Michael" that remains while time is skipped forward.  This film is like a mixture of BRUCE ALMIGHTY and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.  The combination of thoughtful storytelling, and Sandler's sincere performance, makes it a pleasure to watch.  It may not be the funniest of his films, but it's certainly one of the better written ones.  It makes me hope for more serious Adam Sandler roles, since he does such a great job with those parts of the script.  Director Frank Coraci ( who previously brought us THE WEDDING SINGER and WATERBOY) proves he can handle drama just as well as comedy, and I'd like to see him stretch that talent even further from now on.  Overall CLICK is pretty darn good.  Some of the plot devices are familiar, but the film maintains a nice quality throughout, and I'm glad they surprised me with the end result.

BIGFANBOY.com score - On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, I give CLICK an 8.


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