The Longest Yard

By Mark Ramsey | 2005/05/31

Since when could Courtney Cox nestle her breasts in what appear to be two hammocks?! If David and Goliath ever have a rematch, Courtney’s packin’ the first two slingshots!

In The Longest Yard Adam Sandler is a former football star.

Wait, stop laughing. I’m serious!

Personally, I’d sooner believe Louis Pasteur was a former football star. But anything’s possible at the movies except, evidently, some entertainment and a few laughs.

Football? Maybe Adam swallowed a football, thus explaininglongestyard_songwowsem.jpg

the peculiar shape of his head, not to mention the laces over one ear.

Adam’s character was disgraced after shaving points, quite a feat considering Sandler only recently started shaving hairs.

Adam breaks some laws and quickly becomes the new fish in the Big House, as we say in the yard. There he must recruit a prisoner football team to take on the guards. I don’t know about you, but I’d have to be held captive to participate in football.

Where to find a cast of muscle-bound barely-actors? Are you up to the task? If steroids have long since transformed your testicles into radioactive peanuts, if your physique has been waxed so much you could stick a wick in your nose and light a romantic dinner, if your brow hangs over your eyes like an ocean-front terrace, if your foot and hand both reach the floor, if your head shot is a screen capture from a National Geographic special, then do I have a job for you!

After pioneering the combination of dinner and theater in one seamlessly mediocre experience, Burt Reynolds is back on the big screen, and for the first time in a while it’s not because he can make shadow puppets in front of a projector!

“My doctor says I need to air out my cosmetic surgery,” Burt says. “My face has been so nipped and tucked I need a headband just to keep my pants up,” he adds, slathering another layer of black shoe polish on his facial hair.

Burt Reynolds joins the game, evidently mistaking the pigskin for a shuffleboard puck. And punishment comes his way. Burt hasn’t gotten this banged up since Loni Anderson slapped him upside the head with a Louis Vuitton carry-on.

Here’s what I learned: Convicts are kind, misunderstood souls, and prison guards are sadistic rednecks. It does the heart good knowing that felons and murderers are having a good time playing football at taxpayer expense.

Once in prison, who does Adam Sandler find but the longestyard_girls.jpg

improbably incarcerated Chris Rock! What did Chris steal, jokes? Who did he kill, the late show at the Comedy Store? What is this, some kind of Saturday Night Live prison? And if so, which cell contains A. Whitney Brown?

Together, Adam and Chris build a football team without experience, without talent, and especially without comedy.

You can bet these convicts are a team with something to prove, and hopefully they’ll prove it better than they did their innocence. If only the filmmakers could prove they know how to make a movie.

It’s a prison with a championship football team, and the big game between the cons and the guards is momentous enough to warrant a stadium full of fans and national coverage on ESPN. I spent many years in the joint and I can tell you nothing makes one prouder of one’s incarceration than winning a big football game on national television in a stadium full of fans, all on your dime and mine.

“The blood of the guards is going to flow like the rivers of ancient Babylon,” says one inmate particularly taken with metaphorical resemblances between the Tigris, the Euphrates, and some drunk-ass prison guard named Bubba.

Convicts, guards, and football. I haven’t seen sports and high-powered rifles combined so effortlessly since I was in high school.

Personally, I never knew a yard could be this long.

If you’re lucky you’ll find a short cut to the exit.

Photo Copyright ©2005 Paramount Pictures

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