Big Stan (2007)
Schneider's a Bad Ass
Like Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider is one of those comedians where the first time you see him you find funny but the more times you see him the less funny he gets. I put that down to growing up because whilst my tastes change it seems that Schneider still delivers the same sort of humour and often the same gags. But after watching "Big Stan" my opinion has slightly changed because although there is nothing clever about this prison comedy Schneider tones down the daftness to deliver some mainstream laughs and actually takes you aback when you see him doing martial arts, yes that is Rob Schneider looking lean and snapping out punches and kicks. It still is a case that the humour in "Big Stan" will appeal to a younger audience especially with so much of it built around the fear of prison rape but it is surprisingly easy to watch.
Stan (Rob Schneider - I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) has it all, a pretty wife, a big house and a lot of money, except he got all that by conning elderly women and now after being arrested faces 3 years in prison. But thanks to his shady lawyer Lew Popper (M. Emmet Walsh) he is given 6 months to get his business on order and fearing he will be raped in prison decides to prepare himself by taking martial arts lessons. They don't work out but he meets the chain smoking The Master (David Carradine - Kill Bill: Vol. 2) who takes him under his wing and prepares him for prison. It pays off as soon Stan is number one inside having beaten up all the gang leaders but it brings him to the attention of the corrupt warden who wants him to help close down the prison and turn it into a resort.
In truth "Big Stan" offers up two very daft storylines; you have Stan being toughened up by The Master before prison and then you have Stan in prison where he becomes No. 1, makes friends and has to deal with a corrupt warden. Both sides are surprisingly easy to watch with plenty of mainstream daftness from Stan's training before hand to him turning the prisoners into nice guys as he insists on them dancing instead of beating each other up. It is all incredibly stupid and you need to be in touch with your childish side to be amused but it does work.
But and there always has to be a but or in this case a butt because the driving force behind much of the humour is the subject of prison rape. Now when I was 15 I would have probably found all the rape jokes funny but the older and wiser me kind of found it a bit distasteful and also monotonous as it felt like Schneider found the idea so funny that he repeated various jokes. It does mean that to truly enjoy "Big Stan" you do need to be young and not bothered by prison rape humour.
Putting that aside it has to be said that Rob Schneider is in fact quite impressive in "Big Stan", ironically I don't mean because of him being funny or the fact he also directed the movie but who would have thunk, Schneider can do martial arts. Now I am no martial artist and I don't know how difficult the stuff is which Schneider does in the movie but watching him toss around a set of nunchuks is impressive as is watching his agility in fight scenes. As for David Carradine well he looks seriously dishevelled and that is about it.
What this all boils down to is that in truth "Big Stan" was not as bad as I though it was going to be and whilst the constant flow of prison rape humour was uncomfortable there is enough other humour to make it surprisingly easy to watch with Schneider impressing with his martial arts skills.
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