Heavy Metal music is the devil's music, they say. Nowhere is this more apparent than Adam Sandler's latest vehicle, Little Nicky where the Heavy Metal culture is used to save the day. This is arguably one of the best films with Sandler in it, though not necessarily the funniest.
The plot is novel and innovative: Little Nicky (Sandler) and his brothers Adrian (Rhys Ifans) and Cassius (Tom Lister Jr.) are the sons of Satan (Harvey Keitel, Jr.) who has just decided to rule hell for another 10,000 years. Adrian and Cassius are not happy with this decision and thus leave hell to corrupt the people in New York City and possess their souls (as if), which would enable them to usurp their father's throne. It's up to Nicky to save his father and hell from the evilness of his brothers. To do this, Nicky has to go to Manhattan and imprison Adrian and Cassius, aided by the talking bulldog Beefy (Robert Smigel), his love interest Valerie (Patricia Arquette), his roommate Todd (Allen Covert), and two Heavy Metal worshippers (Jonathan Loughran and Peter Dante). Hilarity ensues as Nicky learns the ropes of how to eat, sleep, and ... well, you get the idea.
The numerous references to pop culture are what make Little Nicky worth watching. From the lines spouted by Satan's father Lucipher, played by Rodney "I can't get no respect" Dangerfield, to the final bit where Ozzy Osborne has to save the day in his trademark fashion (which I thought was very clever, as is the scene where Nicky and Adrian fight it out the end). The acting is decent: even though Adam Sandler gets top billing, it is the supporting cast that make the film worthwhile. The cameos by Dana Carvey (the referee), Quentin Tarantino (the blind preacher), and Reese Witherspoon (Nicky's mother) are also amusing. The sound track, comprised mostly of classic rock tunes (in apt context to the events on the screen), is excellent. The special effects, particularly in the depiction of hell, is quite impressive.
Little Nicky isn't a film for everyone, even Sandler fans, since it is quite different from anything he has done. But you can't say it's not unique and it is clever on many levels. There's a lot of self-indulgent irreverence in this film (which is a good thing). Some of it is very politically correct (you can't go wrong with insulting Hitler) and some it not so (the wheelchairs containing handicapped people crashing into a bus; the breasts growing out the head of one of Satan's minions). Worth the matinee fare, but be prepared for the worst.