31st Oct2013

‘Grown Ups 2’ Blu-ray Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, Nick Swardson, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Covert, Steve Austin, Milo Ventimiglia| Written by Fred Wolf, Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy | Directed by Dennis Dugan


Adam Sandler is an actor we know very well. He’s been working in comedy for years, and years, and his films regularly do very well at the box office. Back in the 90’s Sandler was hot off the heels of his stint as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, and the films that followed were his best. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and Big Daddy all showed a talent that Sandler possessed as a leading man in silly comedy flicks.

Time has passed, and it’s almost twenty years from Billy Madison, and Adam Sandler is still a leading man in comedy movies, but the quality of these films has dropped more and more as the years have gone by. Jack and Jill was terrible, and was panned by hundreds of critics and thousands of movie fans, but Grown Ups 2, the sequel to 2010’s Grown Ups, is even worse.

I am a fairly forgiving movie-goer. I know what to expect when I go into a film much of the time, and sometimes set me sights very low, while at the same time expecting to be entertained in some vague way. Grown Up’s, the 2010 comedy film starring Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James and a host of others, was one of those movies where I set my sights low, and ended up having fun with the film to some degree. It isn’t, by any means, great, but it still made me chuckle a couple of times, and was fairly polite in what it offered. Three years later, and the cast reunites, the crew reunites, and more of Sandler’s film buddies are added to the mix, along with strange castings like Shaquille O’Neal.

The movie begins with Adam Sandler getting pee’d on by a deer who has wandered into his house. This wasn’t the best sign of things to come, but alas, my tortured soul held strong. What followed was 101 minutes of racist, homophobic, juvenile, offensive, low-brow, stupid jokes that were set up and fell flat 99% of the time. Am I being cruel? No, I don’t think so, consider this review to be like a reaction, like if someone came into your home, kicked you in the neck, and called you stupid for two hours. The story? Plot? Well, there isn’t really one, it’s like a series of plot-less bowel movement jokes and dated references, none of which made me smile, and I smiled at Black Knight for God’s sake.

A bunch of childhood friends spend the summer doing, erm, stuff…and their family also spends the summer doing some stuff too, and at the end of all the stuff, each person learns some, erm…stuff. There is the plot, and I think I’m being a bit detailed here.

Sandler and his crew phone it in throughout. Tim Meadows over-acts to the point of cringing. Oh yes, cringing, a feeling I had for most of the film. It was all just so cringe-worthy that I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for the cast, the crew and anyone else affiliated with it. I was never one of the people to rip on Sandler for his decreasingly valid and increasingly vapid film output, but this experience is enough to change my mind. Adam Sandler, and whoever else was part of the writing process here, needs to go home, burn their playbook, and either retire or start fresh, because this just isn’t good enough.

Grown Ups 2, for this writer, had no redeeming quality, a fact that I am shocked to say I have never written before. I can usually find something to tip my hat to, but other than the credit-roll, I really can’t here. This film is the worst I have ever seen in my life. Harsh? Well, I think I might be the wrong person to answer to whether it’s harsh or not. Maybe the film has its fans, and if so then I applaud them for finding something worthwhile about this movie.

Kids might get a kick out of the fart jokes and the terrible CGI scene where David Space rolls down a hill in a truck tire, but other than that, I can’t see the point. I think many kids will even roll their eyes with this one.

Grown Ups 2 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on December 2nd.


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