Flashback Review: Billy Madison

During his tenure on SNL, Adam Sandler stars as a spoiled lazy manchild of a wealthy hotel tycoon who wants to take over the family business by going back to school. Way back to 1st Grade to 12th Grade in order to win his father’s approval he’s capable of handling responsibility as a grown up. The plot I’m referring to is none other than “Billy Madison.”

Billy Madison was released in 1995. (same year Tommy Boy came out) At the time of its release, it earned mixed reviews from critics.Regardless of divisive reactions, Billy Madison later became one of Adam’s best works. He eventually named his production company “Happy Madison” after Billy Madison & “Happy Gilmore.”

Adam’s recent film, “Hubie Halloween” is on Netflix. His upcoming works, “Hustle” & “Hotel Transylvania 4” are in development. I’d like to share if Billy Madison still holds up.

If you’ve haven’t seen Billy Madison. I’m placing this article as a non-spoiler review.

Smart & Stupid Aspects

Smart: Adam Sandler did a hilarious job for his performance as the titular character. He also co-wrote the script.

Other Cast Members such as Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Darren McGavin, Josh Mostel & Norm MacDonald all did a good job for their respective performances.

Robert Simonds (CEO of STX Entertainment) produced the film.

Humor is filled with memorable moments with a lot of quotable lines both visually and verbally. A specific quote is now a meme. This was back when Adam’s brand of humor was fresh. Nowadays, it’s repetitive without any variation or new tricks.

Character Development involving Billy. He goes from a spoiled lazy manchild to a responsible adult capable of using his common sense to become mature. He has redeeming qualities.

Cinematography lacked camera issues. It was handled carefully.

A student saying “O’Doyle Rules” is used as a running gag.

My favorite line is, “That poop again!” Got me laughing my rump off. I also thought Billy shouting “SHUT UP” was funny. Both lines earn Bonus Points.

Eric is one of the best villains in Adam’s movies. He’s cunning, greedy, sneaky, manipulative and he’s motivated to try and take over the hotel business. To this day, I’m shocked Bradley Whitford played him. He was in “The West Wing,” “Get Out,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” & “Godzilla: King Of The Monsters.” Bradley definitely earns an Extra Point for his versatility in comedic and dramatic roles.

Jack Nicholson is mentioned. Adam later worked with Jack in “Anger Management.”

When the Universal logo appears, the music in the background has an upbeat Disney-esque music. What you’re about to see is gonna make you burst out laughing.

A chase scene during the opening credits, officially establishes Billy’s personality.

Billy and a first talk about “Mortal Kombat” & “Donkey Kong.” In real life, Adam is a fan of video games. He showed off his gaming skills in “Reign Over Me” playing “Shadow Of The Colossus.” Speaking of Mortal Kombat, Brigette Wilson played Sonya Blade in a film adaptation of the game. Adam later fought Donkey Kong in “Pixels.”

One person delivers one of the best “you suck speeches” towards another person as part of his, “We Are All Now Dumber” speech.

The late Chris Farley makes an appearance as a bus driver. He was close friends with Adam back when they were on SNL.

Steve Buscemi makes an appearance as Billy’s former classmate. Steve later worked with Adam in several movies.

A Musical Number pops up, which is played for laughs.

Dumb: Product Placement featuring just one brand, Snack Pack. I’ll give this a pass, because this is the only brand spotted. This was before Adam got indulge in way too many products.

The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Billy Madison is one of Adam Sandler’s best movies along with Happy Gilmore, “The Wedding Singer,” “Punch-Drunk-Love,” “Anger Management,” “The Longest Yard,” “Click,” Reign Over Me, “Hotel Transylvania” series & “Uncut Gems.” If you want to introduce your kids to Adam Sandler, start with Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore.

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