There comes a moment in nearly every Adam Sandler film that brings the lamentable, obligatory Rob Schneider cameo. In this clamorous remake of a popular though mediocre 1974 prison movie, Sandler's old Saturday Night Live costar shows up during the extended, climactic football game pitting Sandler and a team of jailed convicts against their sadistic guards. Schneider, an inmate watching the game, jumps up to yell what has become his catch-phrase for these bits: "You can do it!"
It's not as if Sandler needs the encouragement. Rarely has such a hypercharged Hollywood career been built on so minor a talent. Sandler, playing a washed-up pro footballer turned convict, ambles through The Longest Yard as if still waiting for his morning coffee to kick in. Not that there's much at stake here. The inmates are all lovable and the guards and warden (Cromwell) unrelentingly evil. Not for a minute does any of what happens onscreen seem remotely real. Playing jailbirds, Rock makes like an eager chipmunk as he tries in vain to give bite to toothless comic dialogue, while Reynolds (who had Sandler's role in the original) squints amiably. (PG-13)