Updated: Apr 19, 2021
This movie is the most Scorsese-esque movie I can think of in the recent past. The opening is a lot like Blood Diamond's but the movie ends up becoming centered on a totally unexpected plot where you're constantly asking yourself: "Where is this going?" So many scenes in the first half make you wonder why they would add that into a two hour-plus movie. However, when the movie was over, I found myself thinking of those specific scenes the most. Particularly the scenes showing Howard (Adam Sandler) doing mundane household chores and the movie basically starting with him getting a colonoscopy. We will say that the repeated use of a graphic zooming into a gem or focal point that transitions into a view of the galaxy is a great illustration of the metaphor of Howard's life. The movement of the story is similar to Scorsese's Taxi Driver or The Departed or Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. Scorsese is an executive producer so I'm sure the nod was clear. If you haven't seen those movies, the concept is that you think you're just watching someone's life's events go by without realizing that there is an enormous amount of suspense building up. In each of the these movies, the ending could go a 100 different ways and you're at the edge of your seat until the final minute. The use of music and the cacophonous background noises in the movie seem odd initially, but they want you to be almost immersed into the drama yourself so the tension can brew more personally to each viewer. There is a complexity to the protagonist that makes you question why you're rooting for him, or at the very least who you're rooting for. Every subplot in the movie has value in the climactic scene however you're left to your own imagination on the lives of all the side characters at the end. But that is exactly what they should have done, and they did it so well. Adam Sandler showed amazing versatility and depth as an actor. There wasn't one second in the movie where I remembered that character isn't who he is. The supporting roles for LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin Garnett, and Idina Menzel were perfectly executed. The attention to detail in every scene, like the use of real NBA game footage, along with the incredible acting made this movie feel like it actually happened and we're just along for the ride. We highly recommend the movie and it deserves all the hype it received.