Released: 16th August
Seen: 23rd August
In ancient Persia, there was a method of execution known as Scaphism. It’s one of the most creative methods of execution ever created. First, you take two boats of identical shape and place the victim inside one of them, leaving a spot for their head to stick out the end. You put the other boat on top, creating a box that floats, and feed the victim as much food as you can. Then honey and milk is forced down their throat and poured over their head. Soon, their entire head was covered in flies and other assorted bugs, then the milk would work through their digestive system and they would begin to have severe diarrhoea that would fill the boat. They would float around for weeks, slowly being eaten alive by the flies and the bugs that got attracted by the boat full of excrement, one of the most elaborate torturous painful methods of execution known to man… anyway, I saw Sextuplets and now I know how the people in the boat felt.
Sextuplets is a satanic anecdote about Alan (Marlon Wayans), a man who somehow convinced a human female to mate with him. Because of his shocking ability to somehow get a woman pregnant, Alan is asked about his medical history which he doesn’t have because his birth mother did the right thing and abandoned him long ago. Since he wants nothing more than to be able to bring something to the relationship (besides a general sense of pity), Alan tries to get his birth records and discovers that he’s a sextuplet. Because we need something resembling a story, Alan goes off to go see all his siblings who are various kinds of irritating and tries to learn about his family but instead just shows that he is more excruciating worse than being eaten alive by bugs while covered in your own faeces.
It’s so very clear that this movie is trying desperately to do what Nutty Professor did in 2000 when Eddie Murphy played every member of the Klump family. The key difference is that Nutty Professor was funny and Eddie Murphy has talent, and those two things do not make an appearance in Sextuplets at any point. Instead of humour, we get a constant sense of irritation and instead of talent, we get stupid voices that wouldn’t amuse a 4-year-old and character costumes that look like they were rejected by a community theatre.
From the moment the movie begins, you will want it to end. The acting is beyond painful, which is not aided by a script that was apparently written by a drunken toddler. The main character is a boring unlikable waste of space with a wife who happens to exist because we need a ticking clock. The main characters motivations are “Well, I have nothing better to do” and any conflict he has is brought on by his own stupidity. Oh, also, he can’t tell a joke to save his life. Remember when Marlon Wayans was funny? Yeah, I don’t either; it was so long ago I no longer associate him with jokes that work. I only associate him with pain.
Speaking of pain, every single one of the siblings that make up the remaining sextuplets will live forever in my worst nightmares. I don’t know who to hate the most, there are so many options for where to put the majority of my hate. Do I hate Russell, the cereal obsessed mama’s boy who is obsessed with 80’s television and talks like he has a mouth full of novocaine? Or could I hate Dawn, the criminal pole dancer who starts fights with everyone? Oh, I know I hate Ethan, the thug gangster who looks the most like Alan and can therefore totally steal his identity and trick his very stupid wife in an attempt to get a look at her tits. Baby Pete is up there in hateability since he literally steals one of Alan’s kidneys. Oh, oh Jaspar’s also very hateable since he’s an overacted redheaded James Bond villain who was created when the writers started the heavy portion of their drinking and just said: “Screw it, that’ll do”. I hate all of them; they are all blights on character creation. None of them is enjoyable, none of them is funny and none of them is well-acted.
Every single scene was stupid, to put it nicely. Nothing flowed, nothing seemed to really match or make sense. There is no reason for this entire farcical field trip to happen, it’s not like Alan is desperately trying to find these people for any reason other than “Well, might be nice” and after meeting Russell for 7 seconds, a normal person would’ve run for their car and never looked back. Every new sextuplet just makes the film dumber and dumber, and it was already pretty dumb at the start. I’m not even kidding when I say I was irritated by the 5-minute mark, and it never got better.
If we’re being charitable, I can say that I saw where a joke might potentially have been placed were this film written by actual writers who know how to write jokes. We do not have those writers; we have the guys who wrote two A Haunted House movies and Fifty Shades of Black. Maybe, just maybe, these people need to stop being trusted with a budget or the ability to make a feature-length film because they do not know how to make anything good. Maybe, just maybe, everyone involved should stop. I do not know why Netflix keeps doing this to them, but someone there needs to get some quality control going.
Sextuplets is bad, but you knew it was bad. You knew it was going to be bad the second you saw the poster and went “Oh, that looks like a shitty version of The Klumps” but it’s so much worse. There isn’t a single character worth liking, there isn’t a single joke worth telling, there isn’t even a single shot worth dismantling. This is a film that is so pedestrian that it hurts. The only reason it’s avoiding a 0 is that it didn’t actively offend me, it just irritated the shit out of me. I would rather be nailed between two boats full of my own excrement than suffer through this film again.