This remake of the original The Longest Yard carries all of the original hallmarks that made the first film good, while updating the cast and the comedy style for a more modern audience. And whether the audience enjoys sports films or action movies, the Longest Yard is a little bit of both all rolled up into one. Adam Sandler is Paul Crewe, a disgraced football player who was banned from professional ball after a point shaving accusation. When he's finally arrested and sentenced a warden in Texas pulls serious strings to get Crewe sent to him. The warden wants Crewe to act as a trainer for the guard team. Crewe's suggestion is that the guards have a warm up game. The warden agrees, and instructs Crewe to put together a team from the inmates.
The inmates, of course, are supposed to lose. That's the whole point; let the guards win and give their egos a boost for the upcoming season. Of course the inmates don't want to do that, and neither does Crewe. Despite threats and moments of doubt, the prisoners pull together as a team, overcome their differences and emerge victorious over the guards. It's a fleeting victory, but it's one that has brought them together and shown that even men in captivity can still achieve amazing things if they work together as a team.
The film, in addition to hitting all the high notes of being a sports movie with triumph and the human spirit, is jam packed with comedy. The opening bits, involving a drunken Adam Sandler aren't that humorous, but when other members of the cast like Terry Crews and Chris Rock come on camera the laughs ratchet up quite a bit. While the writing might not be as solid as it could be, and a lot of stereotypes about the criminal justice system are played for laughs, The Longest Yard is generally a film that people shouldn't take too seriously. It isn't a movie about modern gladiators turned into brutal scapegoats for the fragile ego of a little man with a lot of power (though it could be turned into that, and has moments that hint at this very thing). It's a film about how even bad men can do good things, and about how the underdogs can bite down and hold tight when they decide to really take a challenge in their collective teeth.