Rating: 1 star
Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, and Maya Rudolph.
Director: Dennis Dugan
Running Time: 101 minutes
There's no reason that this film – surprisingly, Adam Sandler's first sequel – should have been made. It lacks a cohesive story and suffers from isolated scenes that have nothing to do with anything that happened before or after.
No kidding: every scene in this film is its own short skit that just happens to feature the same characters for the entire 101 minutes.
The movie is terrible despite featuring Chris Rock (arguably the funniest stand-up comedian of his generation), Adam Sandler (remember Happy Gilmore, anyone?), Kevin James (hilarious on TV), and David Spade (who makes any comedy, before this movie, funnier).
A review of Grown Ups 2 should include a few basic plot points, but there really are none. Any real story arc was essentially abandoned in favour of slapstick toilet humour that has been done by inferior comedians a million times before (sometimes, done better).
When Shaquille O'Neal and Twilight star Taylor Lautner are the funniest people in a comedy featuring such a star-studded cast of comedians, something is badly wrong. And when Rob “You can do it” Schneider doesn’t even bother showing up for a cameo – something is seriously wrong.
For what it’s worth, the film deals with the same four friends from Grown Ups now finally living together in their hometown in Connecticut.
Sandler's wife, played by Salma Hayek, wants a third child; Rock's character finds out he has a teenage son; the gang is antagonised by a group of local university students. That's the entire film.
Only a few lines and scenes stick in the mind. But they are a far cry from anything remotely approaching “classic” status, and fall the by the way side once the credits roll.
The most frustrating thing about Grown Ups 2 is how shamelessly lazy and greedy it all seems from behind the lens. Product placement abounds in this film, with many references to specific brands with no context or setups.
At least give the audience a reason to laugh at something. Toilet jokes can only stay funny for so long, and even a lot of those are recycled from the first film.
Granted, Adam Sandler has not been funny since I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry in 2007 (and barely, even then), but everyone involved in this farce needs to make more of an effort.
In sum, Grown Ups 2 is an obvious cash grab by four guys that just happen to be famous with choppy editing, no story, and lazy humour. We’re giving this movie one star – and that’s being generous.