Grown Ups 2 is the slapstick comedy sequel to the rancid original film from 2010. Yeah that’s right, of all the movies to give a sequel to Adam Sandler chose this. The reasoning is perfectly clear too. It’s not about making an acceptable comedy or a decent film. Sandler and Happy Madison Productions cannot make one even if their lives depended on it. Grown Ups as a series solely exists so Sandler and his entourage of D list comedic actor friends can hang out and make some money doing as little as artistically possible.
Grown Ups 2 is the culmination and epitome of laziness not just for Sandler, his friends, or director Dennis Dugan, but comedy as a genre. Grown Ups 2 is an abomination the size of Jack and Jill.
The film once again follows the childhood friends that are now adults (I use that term loosely) and as Adam Sandler’s character Lenny puts it; only have hot wives because this is a Hollywood film. These families unfortunately were also allowed to create offspring as well and their children are as equally obnoxious and idiotic. Kevin James is basically around to replace the iconic Chris Farley since Eric is nothing but a walking fat joke. The difference between the two is that Chris Farley was a master at timing slapstick overweight themed comedy. Kevin James constantly just gives off expressions that say “I really wish King of Queens was still around so I don’t have to film crap like this”. David Spade plays Marcus getting the butt of the redneck jokes while Kurt is played by Chris Rock. I will leave the butt of his jokes to your imagination. Hint: stereotypical and outdated black jokes.
I wish I could give you some sort of brief plot synopsis but Grown Ups essentially has no plot and is a movie about nothing. Our four friends now live in the same neighborhood and Grown Ups 2 shows us a day in their lives. It’s very loosely about Lenny dealing with his wife (Salma Hayek) wanting another child. Why doesn’t Lenny want another child? It would mean less pizza for him in the long run. I truly wish I was making this up but I am not.
There’s also a dilemma of our four protagonists’ handling their children entering the dating scene and the trials that come with the package. There is just one critical problem though. Every time a plot point comes up it is forgotten about immediately until everything sloppily gets resolved at an 80’s themed house party Lenny hosts. Even an 80’s themed party cannot illicit laughter in this film. OK I lied; I chuckled at Steve Buscemi’s Flava Flav costume.
As usual with Adam Sandler films, the cameos fly at you repeatedly like a pack of killer crows. I use that analogy because the jokes that come with these cameos are as painfully awful as literally having your eyes pecked out by killer crows. Shaquille O’Neal plays a bald police officer. Are bald people supposed to be laugh out loud hilarious or something? Nick Swardson is a drug addicted bus driver. Stone Cold Steve Austin is there simply to convince viewers he was at one point a bully to be feared. Jon Lovitz is a janitor that sexually harasses women. None of the cameos (besides Steve Buscemi) are actually funny though. It’s just Adam Sandler pulling a role out of his ass so a friend can collect an easy paycheck.
Absolutely no one put forth any effort into making a comedy. Grown Ups 2 is a movie that opens with a deer pissing repeatedly on Lenny’s family and ends with a fart joke that’s been used over five times already. The film has no shame and mean-spiritedly attacks every stereotype, race, and sexuality lazily for cheap laughs. I have absolutely no quarrel with offensive films or crude content so long as the context serves a purpose. Writing jokes or sketches we haven’t seen one thousand times already also helps too. No one finds burping and farting simultaneously some revolutionary humorous concept. I don’t need to see David Spade puking or diapers stuffed full of poop.
Verdict: There is clever shock value and forced shock value. For 100 minutes Grown Ups 2 assaults you with some of the most tasteless, gross, and insulting comedy known to mankind. The bar has been set so low for this franchise that I am actually scared to see even trailers for the inevitable third film. Mark my words; Grown Ups 2 is so insufferably awful it will win Razzie awards. Good luck searching for a worse comedy in 2013.
Grown Ups 2 is released in the US this weekend but not until August 9th in the UK.
This article was first posted on July 12, 2013