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027: We Tried to Watch Mr. Deeds

Maximilian Rivera September 27, 2016
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By: Max Rivera | @MaxRiveraFilm

Premise: A sweet-natured, small-town guy inherits a controlling stake in a media conglomerate and begins to do business his way.

​Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 22%

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What can you say about Mr. Deeds (2002)? Not much, honestly. 

This Happy Maddison film isn’t as offensive as previous contenders — we’re looking at you Master of Disguise — but it’s not a standout picture.

Even with Adam Sandler giving an insincere performance, Winona Ryder playing a one-note character, and John Turturro playing a weird, stereotypical Latino character, this film has all the makings of a groan-worthy film. However, Mr. Deeds is basically just boring.

​Read more beneath the cut…

In fact, Mr. Deeds is so boring that we’d rather talk about The Bourne Identity, which was also released in 2002. 

Premise: A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and regain his memory.

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So yeah, we got distracted. Mostly because The Bourne Identity is an awesome movie. Let’s just establish that right now.

Up until this point, the most recognized spy thrillers were the James Bond movies, but at this point in history were the cheesy Pierce Brosnan films. With The Bourne Identity, we were introduced to a frantic, stylistic world that reflected our concerns in a post-9/11 society.

From the very start, what The Bourne Identity does right is leave you as confused and in the dark as the main character. As he learns more about himself, the audience does, too. 

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We never see any characters deliver the kind of groan-worthy exposition some action films take. Instead of telling us what Jason Bourne can do, we are shown what Jason Bourne can do.

This comes to a head from the moment Clive Owen’s assassin shows up to take out Bourne. We’re walking with Bourne as he implements his counter-attack, yet we’re figuring out his actions at the same time as the assassin.

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Sure, maybe it’s cheating to get distracted talking about a good film. But there’s not really anything worthy for discussion with Mr. Deeds. It’s such a boring, milquetoast approach at cinema. All we’ll say is that even Adam Sandler is better than that.

If you have any comments about The Bourne Identity or Mr. Deeds, send us an email at TheCriticalBreakdownPodcast@gmail.com. As always, leave us a review on iTunes or any other podcatcher!

Max is a marketing copywriter by day, filmmaker and screenwriter by night. He resides in Charlotte, NC, and loves his dogs, watching movies, building LEGO sets, and eating food. Lots of food.You can find Max at his personal website and twitter.