Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Plot Synopsis: A real estate con artist named Stan Minton panics when he learns that he’s going to prison for fraud. Stan’s fear of jailhouse rape leads him to hire a mysterious guru who helps transform him into a creative martial-arts expert, prepared to defend his anus with lethal force.
Rob Schneider, the master of ridiculous characters and retarded comedy, is still making movies. I know, I know, right? Unbelievable! Sarcasm aside, I’m a pretty big fan of his. I’ve found varying levels of enjoyment in all of his movies, even the ones he “starred” in. I think he’s a great character actor; by that I mean that I think he’s great at portraying odd comedic characters. He may appear dull, flat, or boring to most, but not to me. I’ve always been odd like that. Sometimes, the dumber the movie is, the more I enjoy it. And that is exactly the case with Schneider’s latest, Big Stan.
You’ll find nothing new in Big Stan. It doesn’t take any risks, it doesn’t try anything edgy or different. The movie itself follows the same generic formula that so many comedies before it has followed. A selfish or jerk-ish or crass man is thrown into a situation he isn’t excited about. Man grows accustomed to situation, befriending those who were once considered enemies. Selfish/Jerk-ish man presented with chance to escape situation, at the cost of those he once looked down upon but now is friends with, and Selfish/Jerk-ish man accepts. Selfish/Jerk-ish man has moment of clarity seconds before he returns to whatever he was before bad situation, and chooses to ultimately re-unite with the once enemies in the uncomfortable situation. Movie ends in typical “happy ending” fashion. You know, that formula? Many of you may be turned off by that. I decided to give the film a chance, and stayed with it through the end. I wasn’t disappointed. The bulk of the enjoyment in Big Stan came from the over-the-top situations, events and actions. Every other minute, Big Stan presents you with another ridiculous, crazy, “I can’t believe that just happened” type moment. I loved it!
The characters, while very formulaic, were hilarious because you just couldn’t believe what was happening to them, even if you knew the ultimate outcome. For instance, the training Stan went through in the six months before his incarceration in an attempt to protect his once virgin anus (a deflowering scene that is laugh out loud hilarious, and one you’ll probably not soon forget!). Stan has to go through an insane battery of tests, from eating scorpions to pushing his middle finger (and only his middle finger) through a board. His trainer through all of this is a mysterious, chain-smoking man known only as “The Master.” He is played by David Carradine. Bravo to Carradine for portraying a character mocking what he once was so famous for. Carradine was hilarious as “The Master”, providing some classically funny sage “advice” to Stan throughout his training. David Carradine was fantastic, and probably the brightest spot in the acting department from this film. While the secondary characters in the film were far superior to the film’s star character, Schneider as Stan was still worthy of your laughs. One thing I’ve always enjoyed from Schneider is his ability to really work the physical humor. His facial expressions, (not so) subtle movements, and self made sound effects were the highlight of Schneider’s performances in ALL of his movies. In Big Stan, Schneider wasn’t great, but he was funny enough to not pull the movie down for me.
Look, Big Stanis not a movie that everyone would enjoy, trust me on that. It was formulaic and over-the-top ridiculous. That was what I enjoyed the most from the movie. I was in a constant state of shock; I just couldn’t believe that any of this stuff actually made it into a movie, albeit a low-budget and little-to-no hype DVD. I loved each and every retarded second. I rooted for Stan as he transformed himself, changing from a rich, selfish bastard to a loveable bad-ass. I laughed out loud as Stan entered prison and subsequently made everyone there his “bitch.” I nearly cried when Stan banned prison rape (a truly hilarious highlight) I was laughing so hard. If you can view Big Stan for what it is, an equally formulaic and outrageous prison comedy, you’ll find yourself enjoying it. How can you not love seeing a puny actor like Rob Schneider kicking more ass than Chuck Norris?!? If you can find Big Stanin the bargain bin at your local Walmart, I highly recommend you pick it up.