SYNOPSIS: Grown Ups 2 picks up where the last movie left off. Lenny (Adam Sandler in his first ever sequel) has relocated his wife (Salma Hayek) and kids back to his hometown to be closer to friends and family. It’s the last day of school, and as the kids are packing up their books, their fathers (Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade) grapple with growing up, growing old and a gang of frat boys (lead by Twilight’s Taylor Lautner) who think the four old friends are WAY over the hill.
Richard: 2 Stars
Mark: 2 Stars
Richard: Mark, the old saying, “They got bigger, but they didn’t grow up,” perfectly applies to this new Sandler and Company movie. It’s ninety minutes of middle-aged men, urination gags (too many to count) and cleavage shots. So while the actors may have matured (chronologically at least) the jokes haven’t. Question is, Is it funny? I didn’t really think so, although I have to say Shaquille O’Neal’s big-guy-Andre-the-Giant schick made me laugh. You?
Mark: No, I didn’t laugh. But let’s examine the inventory, Chris Rock-maybe the funniest stand-up working today, but as a movie star, he’s never done anything much worthwhile. David Spade-Tommy Boy was a looooong time ago. Sandler, well, I only find him funny when he’s trying to be serious. There is only one movie genius here-I’m not kidding-and it’s Kevin James. He’s the only one of the bunch that can convincingly play a regular guy and not come off like a slumming millionaire. But not in this turkey. And you have to wonder about any sequel that Rob Schneider passes on.
RC: I wondered where Schneider’s character was. I guess some friendships don’t last forever. I can’t say I didn’t laugh at all. James’ deadpan dumb kid who can’t add or spell is a pretty funny running gag but for a movie about growing up it was all so juvenile. I didn’t expect a searing meditation on aging but I did think they might touch on the fact that they were growing old with more smarts than lines like, “I used to buy ten cases of beer for my parties, now I get ten cases of juice boxes.”
MB: A good line; I snorted in recognition. And I grudgingly laughed a bit at a few sight gags, like the exploding life raft and some of the Eighties outfits at the party finale. But generally, the humour aims too low. But I liked it-if I can use the word-more than the first one. At least it had some nice callbacks and weird twists of coincidence. And it had a lazy summer quality about it-probably the result of lazy screenwriting, acting, and direction.
RC: I like silly movies, I just wish it was silly AND about something other than a moose urinating on Sandler’s unsuspecting family, and by extension, the audience.
MB: We should all feel lucky. In the first draft of the script, it was the other way around.
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