A Forgotten Adam Sandler Sports Comedy Is Winning Netflix Right Now
Adam Sandler's remake of The Longest Yard has been in Netflix's Top 10 movies all week.
Ask anyone on the street to name an Adam Sandler movie, and you might hear twenty different answers, but ask for an Adam Sandler sports movie, and the response will be either The Waterboy or Happy Gilmore. One of Sandler’s best from the mid-aught’s, and one of the best sports comedies of all time, is The Longest Yard, a remake of the 1974 original starring Burt Reynolds that pulls the rare feat of improving on the original. Amazingly, The Longest Yard has been in the top ten of Netflix all week according to Flixpatrol.
The Longest Yard follows Adam Sandler as Paul Crewe, taking over Burt Reynolds role from the original, a disgraced NFL quarterback that gets thrown in prison for three years after violating his parole. A self-serving Texas warden, played by James Cromwell, wants Crewe to led a team of inmates against a team of guards in an exhibition football game as part of a plan to raise his profile for an upcoming election. The resulting football game in the original is one of the best Hollywood depictions in history, and the remake follows suit, working in lots of satisfying character moments along with the greatest final play in fictional football history.
Alongside Adam Sandler, the cast is filled with recognizable faces, including lots of former NFL players, WWE wrestlers, and in one notable case, a future WWE champion that no one heard of before The Longest Yard. Chris Rock, Nelly, Burt Reynolds returning as the old coach for the remake, Nicolas Turturro, Tracy Morgan, Bill Goldberg, Bob Sapp, Michael Irvin, Terry Crews, and Dalip Singh Rana round out the convicts. William Fichtner, Bill Romanowski, Brian Bosworth, Conrad Goode, Kevin Nash, and Stone Cold Steve Austin play the prison guards.
At the time of its release for Memorial Day Weekend in 2005, The Longest Yard was the biggest opening weekend of Adam Sandler’s career, bringing in $47.6 million, with a final worldwide take of $190 million. The movie was MTV Films highest-grossing film until it was eventually surpassed by Jeremy Renner’s best movie, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. As with most Sandler films, critics didn’t like the movie, but audiences did, with a Rotten Tomatoes consensus of 31% fresh from critics at odds with the 62% audience score.
The Longest Yard’s greatest impact could never have been seen coming, and it doesn’t involve Adam Sandler at all, rather it came from all of the former wrestlers starring in the film. After seeing Dalip Singh Rana, calls were made to Vince McMahon and in 2006, Rana became The Great Khali, the first Indian-born WWE wrestler. Within weeks of debuting on Smackdown in 2007, The Great Khali made history, and became a legend in India to this day, by becoming the the first Indian WWE Champion, partly because McMahon wanted to break into the lucrative media market in Khali’s home country, and also because the star is legitimately over seven feet tall.
So if anyone watched WWE from 2007 through 2014, blame Adam Sandler for inadvertently creating The Great Khali. The Longest Yard is currently streaming on Netflix, so take the time and check it out if you’ve never seen the movie before, to this day it remains some of Sandler’s best work.