Leo Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Adam Sandler as Leo (voice), Bill Burr as Squirtle (voice), Cecily Strong as Mrs. Malkin (voice), Jason Alexander as Jayda’s Dad (voice), Rob Schneider as Principal (voice), Sadie Sandler as Jayda (voice), Sunny Sandler as Summer (voice), Jackie Sandler as Jayda’s Mom (voice), Heidi Gardner as Eli’s Mom (voice), Nick Swardson as Bunny (voice), Nicholas Turturro as Anthony’s Dad (voice), Robert Smigel as Miniature Horse (voice), Jo Koy as Coach Komura (voice) Stephanie Hsu as Skyler’s Mom (voice), Kevin James as Ace (voice)

Director: Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel, David Wachtenheim

Leo Movie Review
Leo Movie Review Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

What’s Good: It kills your time without you having any major regret, and that’s its biggest achievement

What’s Bad: It’s confusing and confuses everyone!

Loo Break: Not really, if you know what you’re getting into

Watch or Not?: Only if you watch to watch anything just for the sake of watching anything

Language: English

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes

User Rating:

Leo (voiced by Adam Sandler) is a 74-year-old lizard who just learned that reptiles of his kind live for 75 years and faces an existential crisis about what he wants to do in his last year. He sits comfortably with Turtle the Squirtle (voiced by Bill Burr) in a class 5th tank overlooking the change of kids every year since 1949.

The current class teacher gets replaced by the authoritarian octogenarian Ms. Malkin (voiced by Cecily Strong), who is exactly like the typical strict oldie teacher anyone can imagine. Every week, a new student gets to take Leo home for ‘pet caring’ lessons, where he talks to them and gives them life lessons to overcome fear, insecurity, and other setbacks.

Leo Movie Review
Leo Movie Review Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Leo Movie Review: Script Analysis

In talks since 2016, the ‘Adam Sandler Lizard Film’ is finally here, and it’s not really the perfect mix of Young Adult comical drama I was expecting it to be. I know I’m not its target audience. Still, even if I try to understand from a 5-year-old’s perspective this, I would definitely not get the death jokes like “Mummy’s gonna be gone someday,” an awkward Mr. Skin reference a character makes, or making fun of a pregnant teacher.

That made me think, which age group is this movie even targeting? From its cartoonish treatment, it looks like it’s for kids, then it suddenly turns into a musical in between, and then you feel it’s for teenagers, but the adult jokes in between aren’t really targeted at anyone below 13, at least. Who does even Adam want to target with this? It has its moments, but as mentioned, those will be enjoyed by separate people in scattered age groups.

Leo Movie Review: Star Performance

Adam Sandler continues to milk his SNL sketches’ babbling dramatic baritone voice as Leo to give the 74-year-old lizard an adorable likableness. It sounds like he had a lot of fun while voicing Leo, and that’s evident with the quirky output.

Bill Burr as Squirtle is just about what it should be, but that’s not up to the talent of what he could’ve done with better writing. Leo, being the titular character (and Adam being the writer and producer), Squirtle takes a backseat, which shouldn’t have been the case for a better film. Cecily Strong’s voice for Mrs. Malkin goes perfectly well for the uncompromising teacher she plays.

Leo Movie Review
Leo Movie Review Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Leo Movie Review: Direction, Music

Directors Robert Smigel, Robert Marianetti & David Wachtenheim are the victims of the muddled scriptwriting by Writers Adam Sandler, Paul Sado & Robert Smigel. It jumps between being a Disney & a Pixar film, failing to define its values to find its identity throughout.

Geoff Zanelli’s music sucks! Sorry, kids, I had no better way to say this, but it’s awful. The musical portion of the movie is its weakest link, and its betterment could’ve changed a lot for the overall product. Remember how amazingly Coco had achieved that?

Leo Movie Review: The Last Word

All said and done, this is not something I’ll suggest a 5th grader to watch, neither will I ask my teenage cousin to add to her list; the only target group I can recommend this is the stoners who want to watch anything post losing the touch to reality.

Two stars!

Leo Trailer

Leo releases on 21 November, 2023.

Share with us your experience of watching Leo.

For more recommendations, read our The Killer Movie Review here.

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