The Cob­bler

It’s cob­blers

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated - Ken McIn­tyre

Re­lease Date: 22 May 12A | 99 min­utes Direc­tor: Thomas McCarthy Cast: Adam San­dler, Dan Stevens, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, Melonie Diaz, Ellen Barkin

This is prob­a­bly the least- aw­ful film Adam San­dler has made in quite a while. That be­ing said, it’s still not good. It’s not even in the arena of good. It’s cloy­ing and trite and ridicu­lous, and the whole premise is pred­i­cated on the idea that “sole” and “soul” are in­ter­change­able con­cepts and not just words that sound the same.

Max Simkin ( San­dler) is a cranky, world- weary fourth- gen­er­a­tion cob­bler in a quaint east­side New York neigh­bour­hood that is be­ing slowly gen­tri­fied, a process that is push­ing out old codgers like him­self and his next door neigh­bour, a wiz­ened bar­ber ( Steve Buscemi). One day Max is vis­ited by a hos­tile thug ( Wu- Tang Clan rap­per Method Man) who wants new soles for his al­li­ga­tor- skin shoes. Max’s usual rig goes on the blink, so he’s forced to use an old stitcher in the base­ment of his shop. Turns out it’s magic, and al­lows Max to take on the ap­pear­ance of who­ever the shoes he’s cob­bling be­long to – like said thug. He uses this new- found power to save the neigh­bour­hood and per­haps even his own bat­tered sole… sorry, soul.

It is en­tirely pos­si­ble that the erst­while Wa­ter­boy and Wed­ding Singer star be­lieves there is some depth to this clunky fairy­tale, that some uni­ver­sal truth about life, the uni­verse, and ev­ery­thing will some­how seep out of the mal­let- tothe- skull ob­vi­ous­ness of it all. He is mis­taken. But at least he man­ages to re­frain from babytalk in this one. Nicely shot it may be, but The

Cob­bler is ag­gres­sively corn­ball. If the direc­tor could step into some­one’s shoes, “It would be kinda cool to check out Putin. I want to see what that guy does…”

“What do you mean, you for­got the Odor Eaters?”

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