Ugh! I hated this movie even as a teenager when it was released, and I hate this movie to this very day. The Waterboy follows a water-obsessed mentally retarded (I don’t care what you say, he is) man named Bobby (Adam Sandler) who is also a big time mamma’s boy. He works as the water boy for the Florida Gators college football team. After getting so pissed at a dude that he saw red, he rushes a teasing football player and knocks him over on the field. Impressed by his tackling power, the coach puts him on the team.
If you’ve seen the Waterboy, do I really have to explain why I hated this film? Adam Sandler’s whiny baby voice is too much for a feature stretch and the plot is so thin it couldn’t possibly justify a major motion picture. The sports scenes are comprised mainly of the same stupid Waterboy tackle followed by reaction shots (Oh, I HATE reaction shots) of just about every other actor in the scene. Other than that, they are all set up and no payoff. The football scenes are merely just a setting for this film’s lame gimmick.
That gimmick is that every time Bobby needs to make a tackle, he recalls the teasing from his past and bad special effects take over when the face of the target player morphs into the teasing character. We get the same lame mocking moments and the same stupid mugging from Sandler followed by the same tackle with the EXACT SAME reaction shot over and over for the entire length of the film. This is another example of a three minute sketch stretched out across a feature film. Most sports movies are already weak because there is rarely enough original material to keep the game interesting on screen; Waterboy, in trying to do something different, started with a null concept and was essentially dead on arrival.
This piece of crap was directed by Frank Coraci who was also behind the cameras for Around the World In 80 Days and the Zookeeper, the former was awful, I have not seen Zookeeper (frankly, I dread it). Coraci doesn’t really appear to have any idea what he’s doing here. A year before the Waterboy he paired with Adam Sandler for the Wedding Singer, hardly Hollywood gold but nowhere nearly as bad as this trash. Here the direction is chaotic, the film is filled with bad stereotypes and unfunny gags. Sandler is absolutely terrible here, giving one of the worst performances of his less-than-stellar, but still lucrative career. I would say Coraci’s direction had a lot to do with it, but knowing Sandler’s “style”, I’m pretty sure this is all him.
Really there have been worst leading characters in films (I direct your attention to Roberto Benigni’s Pinnochio and Dana Carvey’s Pistachio Disguisey), but it’s impossible to save a film when the leading character is as annoying as Bobby Boucher. The rest of the cast, which includes the talented Kathy Bates and Fairuza Balk, are all really just throwaway characters. Though most of them are the source of Bobby’s anger, which fuels his athletic ability, but the way this is approached is all wrong and is definitely not funny.