GROWN UPS 2
1/2 (out of 5)
July 12, 2013
Adam Sandler as LENNY FEDER
Kevin James as ERIC LAMONSOFF
Chris Rock as KURT MCKENZIE
Salma Hayek as ROXANNE CHASE-FEDER
David Spade as MARCUS HIGGINS
Maya Rudolph as DEANNE MCKENZIE
Maria Bellow as SALLY LAMONSOFF
Nick Swardson as NICK
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
What I find interesting about the first “Grown Ups” is how I pretty much blocked out its existence. Like a traumatic abuse situation, I must have repressed the memory of actually seeing it, because I don’t recall disliking it as much as I did.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no fond memories of “Grown Ups” either. Instead, it’s a blank. It wasn’t until I dug up my original review from 2010 that I realized how much I disliked it. I gave it 1 1/2 stars out of 5, which is on par with what I gave “After Earth” earlier this year. Sure, they’re different films entirely, but they both are examples of terrible filmmaking.
This was, of course, before the dreadful “Jack and Jill” and “That’s My Boy” soiled Adam Sandler’s career to a stained point of no return.
Still, “Grown Ups 2” is even worse.
I’d love to tell you the plot, but the film is so shoddily put together that, after watching the trailer a couple times and the entire movie, I couldn’t put one together if I had a gun to my head. Seriously, this film has as much focus as a Cheech and Chong flick from the 70s.
“Grown Ups 2” is a series of random shenanigans after Adam Sandler’s character moves back to the small town where he grew up. It’s replete with bathroom humor (which I normally find funny, unless it’s utterly lazy and nonsensical as it is in this film), former SNL alums who have no other employment options and sexual humor that doesn’t offend me but makes me reticent to recommend this as a family film. (Some of this humor includes transgender jokes, anal penetration and more shots of brief-clad ball sacs than I’d care to think about.)
Oh, there’s also tons of cleavage shots courtesy of Salma Hayek and Maria Bello. Normally, I’m all for objectifying those ladies dirty pillows, but it often makes no sense and appears to be nothing more than an adolescent fantasy by Sandler and James when they cast the first film.
Less than 90 seconds into the movie, we’re treated to a buck deer urinating all over Sandler (and later his oldest son in the shower) while he inexplicably opens his mouth and doesn’t move away from the stream. Things go downhill after that. The non-raunchy jokes fall deadly flat and often have characters acting in such haphazard fashion that they appear insane.
The film, which only masquerades as a family comedy, tries to cram in an anti-bullying message, but it ends up with a mixed message declaring that the best way to settle arguments is with your fists.
Former SNL castmates like Tim Meadows are saddled with one of the most awkward catch phrases that I’ve ever seen (“Whaaaaaaaaat?”). In many ways, “Grown Ups 2” reminds me of “The Love Guru” with less focus and less cohesion. The entire film forces a hodge-podge of events that are completely unrelated and confusing that you need crib notes to understand what’s going on and when it’s happening.
“Grown Ups 2” is the worst kind of sequel to the worst kind of film. The first was lazy, unfunny and irritating. This movie doesn’t even do its predecessor justice.
The only way this could be worse is if it were a sequel to “Jack & Jill.”
Forget you heard me say that, Hollywood.