Heaven and Hell has been a concept that will be with us for quite some time. Heaven is a place where good people go, and Hell is where bad people go. And Hollywood as had their fair share of movies about these two places. Then there’s “Little Nicky”, an average Adam Sandler film from the year 2000, just barely passes the okay mark. It uses the traditional Adam Sandler schtick by having the main character speak in a funny voice and be annoying, a predictable plot, and a wide arrangement of crude humor throughout the entire production. “Little Nicky” tries to be at least decent enough with its concept, but in the end, just falls flat.
The story has Nicky (Sandler) being the son of the devil (Harvey Keitel), who is a sweet an innocent boy who just likes to listen to heavy metal, but has a rather noticeable speech impediment. One day, Nicky’s brothers Adrian and Cassius (Rhys Ifans and Tommy Lister respectively) escape from Hell and wreck havoc on Earth. This leaves their father in a deteriorating state. It’s up to Nicky to save his father and stop his brothers once and for all.
“Little Nicky” is dumb; plain and simple: it’s dumb. The writing is okay, even though the plot is very predictable, but the dialogue and jokes are hit and miss. Clearly, this was written with the mindset of a teenage boy, and it shows. This is mainly true as there is a lot of crude humor present in the movie that only young boys will get. The acting is filled with guest stars that serve little to purpose except for Rodney Dangerfield, and the only good actors to come out of this production are Keitel and Ifans. The pacing is way too fast and it could have gone a little longer. But the biggest problem with the film are the special effects.
Since the movie came out in the year 2000, computer generated effects were still being tested and not looking like what we have today. Unfortunately, looking at the film, the special effects look like they were done on the Dreamcast. With a budget of almost $80 million with most of it going towards the special effects, it’s not surprise that this flick was a bomb at the box office.
With that being said, however, there are two things that hold the movie together. First of all, the soundtrack is awesome as it mostly consists of heavy rock music. The makeup effects and the costumes for the demons of Hell, as well as the sets are nice to look at. But how can you look at them when the big budget CGI is in the way?
In conclusion, “Little Nicky” just hangs in by a short thread for a comedy that focuses on both Heaven and Hell.