Blended (2014)

Blended (2014) Poster.jpg
Escape 2 Africa

After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.

After so many disappointments, it's hard not to be cynical about any new endeavours from Adam Sandler, especially in regards to news he uses his starring roles as an excuse for a paid vacation. His latest feature takes him to Africa, reuniting him with two-time past-collaborator Drew Barrymore.

The reunion of the stars will invoke memories of their previous two collaborations, complete with the great charm they shared with one another. This makes it all the more shameful how Sandler sleepwalks throughout the 117 minute running time, despite how much charm Barrymore manages to bring.

Terry Crews brings the eccentric energy to his role that audiences love him for, making it all the more saddening how it's wasted on lazily inserting him into random scenes that would have fared much better without him or his backup singers.

She didn't want her dad to see where she smuggled the drugs

Director Frank Coraci attempts to deliver a story that brings the comedy, but also brings moments of dramatic heft, as Sandler's character and his children struggle to move on from the loss of his wife to cancer. Had these scenes been given more breathing room, then there is a sense that they could have worked well, or the dramatic scenes could have at least. But Coraci makes an uncomfortable blend of the two, leaving moments of dramatic honesty that keep getting interrupted by poor attempts at comedy, not helped by how little surprises appear, thanks to the by the numbers the script.

The worst thing is how the overall proceedings don't feel like a film, but the constant shots of Africa and their animals make you feel as if you've viewed a 2 hour travel advert, as if Adam Sandler used the film as an excuse to get everybody to visit a holiday he enjoyed.

If Blended had a clearer focus on its drama and its comedy, then it could have felt like a rebound for Sandler after so many poor excuses for films. But unfortunately, this isn't a make believe world, and you can barely defend something that defines comedy as a visual of two Rhinos humping.