Adam Sandler and Shaolin Temple

A number of years ago, I sat through two classics of the kung-fu genre: Shaolin Temple, and Shaolin Temple IV.

Now, those who haven’t seen these masterpieces are probably unaware that Shaolin Temple IV is not a sequel to Shaolin Temple. It’s the exact same story. Not only is the story the same, the same actors play the same roles. The only things that are different are the actual script and the directing.

I thought it was a thought-provoking comment on the serialization of cinema and an interesting artistic experiment.

In the past week, I have been subjected to no less than three (3) movies that starred Adam Sandler. It was good to see Adam staying busy, as the last time I remember seeing his face was about ten (10) years ago, when he was playing guitar on Saturday Night Live, a late night sketch comedy program that used to air on NBC.

Anyway, the three films were, in appearance, quite different. After having been subjected to the third twice on a long flight back to Asia, it dawned on me, however, that Sandler is pulling a Shaolin on us! All three movies had exactly the same story line! See:

Water Boy
A quiet boyish man in his thirties lives oppressed by his mother, bottling all his anger inside. One day he meets a football coach who teaches him to unleash this anger to positively affect his life. Adam then kicks some ass and gets the girl.

Punch Drunk Love
A quiet boyish man in his thirties lives oppressed by his sisters, bottling all his anger inside. One day he meets the love of his life, which teaches him to unleash this anger to positively affect his life. Adam then kicks some ass and gets the girl.

Anger Management
A quiet boyish man in his thirties lives oppressed by his boss, bottling all his anger inside. One day he meets a mad shrink, who teaches him to unleash this anger to positively affect his life. Adam then kicks some ass and gets the girl.

I have not seen Mr. Sandler’s other ventures into the cinematic genre. Does the pattern continue? Or was this more kind of a trilogy? Thoughts, comments are greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

most stories can boil down to the same story. 70% of every story ever written is probobly of the form:

person has weakness, someone/something helps him overcome it, he uses his new found power to defeat a problem, he ends up with the girl/guy/job/thing.

adam sandler is good at talking quietly and meekly… and yelling like a psycho. so thats gonna come up as the story for him.

his other movies are the same story. but adam also is good at acting retarded then clever. so the rest of his movies have him being a bafoon that eventually becomes not inteligent but… clever enough to no longer be an idiot.

I don’t care much for Adam Sandler, but Billy Madison cracks me up like few other movies. Was that his first leading role (or was that Happy Gilmore)?

“If peeing in your pants is cool, then consider me Miles Davis!”

It’s shaky to say Adam Sandler is good at something, but he plays good angry characters. When he gets mad, it’s generally pretty funny. That being said, he’s used that technique a lot.

Punch-Drunk Love is another story, he didn’t write it or have anything to do with the production, he was cast.

Beyond that, I don’t think there’s much to analyze in comedy movies. They’re all basically the same. Guy down on his luck decides on some brilliant scheme, some random bad guy gets thwarted, and the guy gets the girl. But that’s not the point. The point is, they’re funny.

Examples:
Billy Madison
Happy Gilmore
Waterboy
Half-Baked
head of state
dirty work
etc etc ad infinitum

To point out the similarities in comedy plots is like saying "OH. MY. GOD. We all have FINGERNAILS… and…

TOENAILS!"
get me? cool.