Big Stan


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Rob Schneider plays a wealthy, crooked real estate agent who is convicted of fraud in time-share condo sales. He manages to successfully bribe the judge before sentence is passed, but there is a state minimum sentence, so the only real break the judge can cut him is to give him six months before he begins his sentence, "to place his charitable enterprises in order."

Schneider decides to use the months to train himself with the toughest martial arts sensei in the world, so that he can be the big dog in the prison. He is successful in this endeavor, and eventually uses his fearful strength to bring order and civility to a hardened prison population. Unfortunately for him, this runs contrary to the warden's wishes. The warden specifically requested Schneider as an inmate in that prison because he is planning to get the prison closed and convert the land to ... time-share condos. In order to close the prison, however, he needs it to be out of control, and Schneider's reforms are turning it into a model center for rehabilitation and harmony.

In essence, the plot hinges on precisely the same dilemma as the two versions of The Longest Yard. If Schneider wants to get his early parole, he will co-operate with the warden's plan, which will result in a prison riot and will ultimately cause the deaths of many of the prisoners who have come to respect and believe in Big Stan, as they call Schneider. If Schneider does not co-operate with the corrupt master plan, the warden will trump up enough phony charges to keep him in prison for life.

The fundamental core of Big Stan's quandary is derivative, and that problem is exacerbated by the fact that one of the films it knocks off, the second version of The Longest Yard, is still fresh in our memories, and was produced by Schneider's good friend Adam Sandler. It even featured Schneider himself in a small role! In that earlier film, the warden also arranged to get Sandler in the prison because he needed him for a master scheme, albeit one involving a football game.

I'm thinking maybe they should have waited a while before re-working the same basic idea in yet another prison movie from the same guys.

Having made that point, I'll add that the film is not a bad watch at all. I have to confess that I like Rob Schneider when he plays the schlub, and in this case he's also pretty good as the tough guy. He obviously did a lot of his own fight scenes after buffing and bulking up for the role. He's supported ably by David Carradine, who turns in his best performance in years and milks a lot of laughs out of his role as the tough, jaded, chain-smoking sensei. The first half hour of the film basically consists of Carradine training Schneider in some ridiculously rigorous and manly ways - like burning him alive, making him drink swill, and making him eat live scorpions and snakes. Now THAT's macho. The training portion of the film is basically a parody of all the Hollywood "rugged training montage" clichés from fight movies like the Rocky films, and I enjoyed that section much more than the predictable prison scenes. If I'm not mistaken, Schneider actually did stuff a tiny live snake in his mouth in one scene, which represents true dedication to a comedic premise, especially since Schneider was also the director, so he did it completely voluntarily.

This is the first film Schneider has ever directed, and it will clearly not be a financial success. Although the film has been ready to exhibit for about a year, it has had theatrical showings only in Russia and Iceland. That can't be good. Worse yet, it made its public debut on Korean TV. I guess it could be worse. At least it was SOUTH Korea.

Blu-Ray DVD


No major reviews online.


6.3 IMDB summary (of 10)


No North American release


There is a shower scene with Schneider and some other guys showing their buns

The female nudity comes from, of all people, Sally Kirkland, age 66 with 95 film credits and two dozen nude scenes dating back 40 years!  Ol' Sally may just hang in there long enough to break that Jessica Tandy record. If I'm not mistaken, Sally had her implants removed! Good for her. She bares her breasts in a sex scene with M. Emmett Walsh, age 72 with 107 film credits and no nude scenes to my knowledge. (Hey, it's a comedy. Walsh plays Schneider's incredibly crooked lawyer and Sally is the foreman of the jury.)

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


A reasonably funny comedy, if too close in premise to The Longest Yard. Carradine alone makes the film worth watching