The Longest Yard
Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) is a former college football star who fell from his athletic pedestal when he was convicted of fixing the outcome of a football game. Imprisoned in a West Texas penitentiary, Crewe’s football experience and propensity for cheating are quickly exploited by the prison warden (James Cromwell) who strong-arms him into playing football with a team of fellow prisoners against the prison guards. Warden Hazen hopes to convey his superior leadership skills and be propelled politically to the governor’s office. When Crewe learns that Heisman trophy winner and former football coach Nate Scarboro (Burt Reynolds) is also a prisoner, he begins to see a wonderful opportunity to build a team that will beat their prison adversaries. A prisoner called Caretaker (Chris Rock) befriends Crewe and provides many laughs for fellow team members like Deacon Moss (Michael Irvin).
It seems to me that remakes are never quite as good as the originals. This certainly holds true with The Longest Yard. The plot and storyline are very similar but with some updating. The cast of prison guards and inmates are bigger, stronger, and meaner in the remake. It seems like every one of them was on steroids because they were all so huge. I thought James Cromwell made a very good sadistic warden, but he didn’t have the same “love of the game” feeling as Eddie Albert did in the original.
This remake offers a constant bombardment of obscene language that is never ending. While the original might have had some, I don’t recall it having nearly the volume of foul language that this remake, written by Sheldon Turner, has. People might argue that prison life is full of this kind of language and they would be right. However, the same was true in 1974 when Tracy Keenan Wynn wrote the original film, and the lack of foul language in it didn’t negatively impact the original. So, it still begs the question as to why Hollywood feels compelled to consistently include obscene and profane language in today’s films. It isn’t needed and it doesn’t add anything to the film. Instead of being The Longest Yard this movie could have rightly been titled The Foulest Yard.