Well, Scott, it’s time to review Grown Ups 2. [SPOILER ALERT- some important details of the movie are revealed]
(Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond)
Not sure there were any grown ups involved in the making of this movie, but let’s proceed. [That’s not the spoiler, but I could be wrong]
It’s summertime and the last day of school in Adam Sandler’s latest home movie. Sandler plays Lenny Feder, a man who has moved his family back to his Jersey hometown. And by some turn of logic, all his buddies have moved there with their families too. Apparently in the prequel, Feder made enough money in Hollywood to afford such a thing. Anyway the opening scene treats us to a preview of what is to come. A deer is loose in Feder’s house and when his wife Roxanne (Salma Hayek) screams, the deer whizzes all over him and runs away, waking the rest of the household.
The old gang from the first Grown Ups movie re-assembles — Lenny, Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock), and Marcus (David Spade). They discover that their kids are growing up faster than they realize. They attempt to re-live their teen years by jumping into a lake off a large cliff, but members of a college fraternity intercept them and humiliate them. The rest of the film involves our heroes, if you can call them that, dealing with each other’s issues, their kids’ issues, and the hostile frat boys.
This is just an excuse for Adam Sandler to have fun with his friends with the camera rolling. The truly sad thing is that he’ll probably make a tidy profit and there will be a sequel.
Sandler’s character plays the most well-adjusted of the troupe. His buddy Eric is a mama’s boy and is in dutch with his hot wife (Maria Bello) for watching soaps with mama (mama is played by the still adorable Georgia Engel). Kurt has figured out that he has infinite “Get Out of Jail” cards with his hot wife (Maya Rudolph) because he remembered their 20th anniversary and she forgot. And in an unfathomable twist, Marcus is the town’s lady’s man getting bootie from every single woman in town. His other quirk is that his nearly grown son has arrived and is a bruiser and hates his father.
Greg, this movie is somewhat painful to watch. There are a lot of talented people involved in the making of this film, but it’s talent all gone to waste. I know a lot of people will disagree, but Adam Sandler can be funny. And he can shine in serious roles, too (e.g., Spanglish). Chris Rock can rock, and many former Saturday Night Live luminaries who are bursting with talent make appearances here. But it’s all squandered in Grown Ups 2, a movie that took 2 hours from my life that I’ll never get back.
I enjoy bathroom humor as much as the next guy, but much of this potty humor isn’t very funny. This film is packed with jokes, but only about one out of eight jokes is funny. The other seven ranged from unfunny to painfully unfunny. And when the bad jokes aren’t flying, there are plenty of visual gags to offend us, most of them involving urine stains, projectile vomiting, and bulging male crotches. The film’s number one running gag, repeated so many times that I did indeed want to gag, involved people performing three bodily functions at once. Need I say more?
Greg, you gave away the burp-fart-sneeze running gag, meaning that our readers now have absolutely no reason to see this movie. I withheld that crucial information but now the cat and its litter box is out of the bag.
Sorry. I’ll add a spoiler alert to the heading of the review.
The underlying theme of this movie is that our heroes are growing old. The college kids are young, energetic, nubile and on the warpath because they are of the misapprehension that the old guys trashed their fraternity house (what are these college kids doing in town anyway – it’s summer.) This is the thinnest of plots – present here to give the film its only sense of coherence.
Every scene was just a throw-away one-liner and the only passably funny scenes are already in the trailer. To his credit, Sandler continued the tradition of situation comedies: ugly fat men married to funny hot women. It’s a tradition that goes back to Jackie Gleason and “The Honeymooners.”
As you mentioned Scott, the list of SNL alum is long and luminous: Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, John Lovitz, Cheri Otari, and Andy Samberg as well as Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Buscemi.
Indeed. Grown Ups 2 is a vacuous movie that may be funny to 13-year-old boys but only if those boys have a truly lousy sense of humor. I considered giving this film zero Reels, which would condemn it to our Reel Heroes Hall of Shame, but then I remembered just how truly atrocious The Big Wedding was. At least Grown Ups 2 doesn’t take itself seriously. So I award Grown Ups 2 a big whopping single Reel. And a single Hero out of 5 as well.
Agreed. It is only by comparison that this movie is not a complete failure. Sandler’s plot, such as it is, barely holds together and his comedy skills are evident albeit applied lazily. I also award 1 Reel and 1 Hero. And as a bonus, Scott, I award you one “Get Out of Jail Free” card so that you can skip the sequel.