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Review: Adam Sandler's 'Hubie Halloween' a fun-size treat

New Netflix comedy applies the typical Sandler formula to Halloween; don't think too hard about it, just enjoy it

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

What you see is what you get with "Hubie Halloween," Adam Sandler's endearing goofball comedy about a simpleton (Sandler, natch) caught up in spooky season high jinks. 

Packed with cameos, costumes, product placements and yes, laughs, "Hubie Halloween" is like a fun-size candy bar in movie form: it's not the most substantial thing you'll consume in any given day, but it's good while it lasts. 

Julie Bowen and Adam Sandler in "Hubie Halloween."

Sandler plays Hubie Dubois, the nicest guy in Salem, Mass., who is continuously picked on by the townsfolk for his simple ways. He's not so much a character as he is a voice and a frown: in Sandlerian terms, he's a part-Bobby Boucher (his character from "The Waterboy") and part-Little Nicky (from the 2000 film of the same name), and even that might be putting too much thought into it.

Hubie is the town's self-appointed Halloween safety advocate, a sort of hall monitor to ensure trick or treating and the surrounding celebrations go smoothly. But a series of strange occurrences and disappearances make this particular Halloween a little more high stakes than usual.  

OK, maybe high stakes isn't the best way to put it. "Hubie Halloween," like most Sandler exercises, is an excuse for Sandler to round up his pals (Sandler regulars Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Dan Patrick and Shaquille O'Neal are all on board) and have some fun.

And it is fun, with June Squibb in a series of outrageous T-shirts and a lightly menacing Ray Liotta — at one point wearing a rainbow clown wig — grabbing steady laughs. Julie Bowen, meanwhile, plays Hubie's unlikely love interest, the duo's first pairing since "Happy Gilmore," and Sandler (who wrote the script with frequent writing partner Tim Herlihy) gets extended mileage out of a running gag with an all-purpose Thermos. 

It's not meant to be dissected, but for what it is, it delivers. "Hubie Halloween" is a seasonal goodie, and it's more treat than trick. 

'Hubie Halloween'

GRADE: B

Rated PG-13: for crude and suggestive content, language and brief teen partying

Running time: 104 minutes

On Netflix

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama