Much like Pacific Rim, I went into Grown Ups 2 nearly against my will and ended up leaving pleasantly surprised. Yes, this is a sequel no one asked for, but that doesn’t make it any less of a fun romp. Not every movie has to be triple-A blockbuster or pretentious indie flick to be considered enjoyable, ya know!
I grew up on Adam Sandler and the films his production company Happy Madison put out. Looking back, is Happy Gilmore a life-changing experience that should be on every single top movies of all time list? No, but it’s still an enjoyable movie when you put your expectations aside and realize you’re going into a “dumb fun” comedy, even years later. Grown Ups 2, much like the original, is just that – dumb fun with an extra helping of sharts on top.
Once more, Adam Sandler is joined by Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade in a series of misadventures about growing old in a young man’s world… or something like that. Whatever plot there may have been is ruined by the pacing throughout the film, which makes the overall presentation suffer from drawn-out scenes that never really go anywhere. It almost feels like an episode of Family Guy with the amount of running gags, fast cuts, and subplots that never manage to slow down or get resolved, except when they are being drawn out repeatedly for comedic effect.
Surprisingly, the worst part of the film was the blatant CGI that was added for all the wackiness that would be impossible to create otherwise, the most notable being the rampaging deer with an urge to piss on everyone it meets. It’s funny, but the whole ordeal went on a lot longer than it needed to and made me wonder if Sandler has some sort of golden shower fetish I never wanted to know about.
Wildlife golden showers aside, the ten or so minutes of family values they try to cram in isn’t all that effective when it’s followed by “burp-snarting” and “bro” jokes. For such an over-the-top comedy, it’s pointless to attempt to make the audience sympathize with characters that are completely unrelatable.
At least Grown Ups 2 doesn’t treat the wives as shrill, hateful fiends that are only there to ruin whatever fun the boys are having like the original did. Granted, they aren’t as fleshed out as the beloved foursome, but they have their moments to shine and manage to feel a little more realistic this time around. It’s a shame Rob Schneider’s character wasn’t able to join the cast, as his inclusion in the original resulted in a lot of the spotlight being stolen from the more “talented” members of the cast. Replacing Schneider as the fifth wheel is Nick Swardson, who results in more laughs when he’s knocked unconscious during the first half than he does during his cringe-worthy performance during the second.
Much like Sandler’s career, Grown Ups 2 is very much hit and miss. When it hits, you know it and you’re sides end up hurting from the amount of laughter you just submitted, but when it misses, you’re stuck in the awkward silence where even the crickets are face-palming.
As a connoisseur of dick and fart jokes, I have to say, Grown Ups 2 was even more fun than the first. It was a whole lot of immature fun that can be enjoyed by the young and old. It’s not a film for everyone, but those who grew up with Adam Sandler will be happy to see him and the gang invoke some nostalgic memories from his previous work. From the opening titles to the end credits, you can tell that the characters are sharing real friendships and having real fun on the screen, and that makes the film all the more enjoyable, even if it’s not all that great beneath the surface.
In Theaters: July 12, 2013
Runtime: 101 min
Rating: PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, language and some male rear nudity |
Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade
Distributor: Colombia Pictures
Official Site: http://www.grownups2-movie.com/