Little Nicky (2000) starring Adam Sandler, Patricia Arquette, Harvey Keitel, Rhys Ifans, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, Rodney Dangerfield, Allen Covert directed by Steven Brill Movie Review

Little Nicky (2000)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Adam Sandler as Nicky in Little Nicky

Better the Devil You Don't Watch

I could sum up "Little Nicky" very quickly and in a few short words, it's an Adam Sandler movie you know what to expect. But to be honest that is actually being a little generous because there are some genuinely good Adam Sandler comedies but "Little Nicky" isn't one of them. In fact "Little Nicky" could rival for being one of his worst thanks to a long list of issues but mainly because it is little more than one gag after another with many of them failing.

As Satan (Harvey Keitel - Holy Smoke) enters his 10,000th year of reign it is time to hand over hell to one of his sons, but deciding that Adrian (Rhys Ifans - Love, Honour and Obey), Cassius (Tommy 'Tiny' Lister) and Nicky (Adam Sandler - Big Daddy) are not ready to rule decides to carry on for another 10,000 years. Furious at their father's decision Adrian and Cassius go through the fiery gateway to Earth to turn it into their own hell, causing Satan to start to crumble away as the gates of hell freezes over. Now it is up to little Nicky, the weakest of his sons to go to Earth and try and bring his brothers back in order to save his father.

Harvey Keitel in Little Nicky

For about the first 10 minutes "Little Nicky" is amusing with the daft but entertaining opening which sees Jon Lovitz as a peeping tom dispatched to hell where his punishment is a horny bird. We also meet the various characters such as Satan and his sons as well as getting what is the funniest joke in the movie which is Hitler in a French maid's outfit being punished with a pineapple suppository. Sadly after this entertaining opening "Little Nicky" quickly goes down hill as it becomes one stupid gag after another.

The trouble is that "Little Nicky" doesn't have enough storyline; Satan is crumbling because his eldest sons Adrian and Cassius have escaped to Earth and it is up to Nicky to bring them back. That is it and whilst you get a typical romantic subplot thrown in it is still not enough to stop it from becoming just one joke after another.

But this lack of storyline is compounded by the fact that in the incessant stream of gags so few are genuinely funny. Gags surrounding chicken, Nicky having a speech impediment and his brother Adrian possessing him when he meets Valerie are simply weak. And whilst there are a couple of moments of childish humour which brings a smile to your face they are few and far between.

In the end "Little Nicky" ends up being more entertaining for the number of actors who signed up to appear. We have recognizable faces such as Harvey Keitel, Patricia Arquette and Rhys Ifans in major roles as well as several regular faces from Sandler's movies such as Allen Covert and Rob Schneider. And then there are smaller roles for the likes of Rodney Dangerfield, Dana Carvey, Reese Witherspoon, Jon Lovitz and a scene stealing cameo from Quentin Tarantino as a blind street preacher. In fact all these supporting performances end up being more entertaining than watching Adam Sandler as Nicky.

What this all boils down to is that "Little Nicky" is not a good movie and in fact it is for me one of Sandler's worst movies with only a few jokes really making you laugh. In fact it is a movie of the incidental, a joke about Hitler and a pineapple as well as the cameos which entertain more than the main humour, story and performance from Adam Sandler.