After two consecutive bombs — Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy, both basically unwatchable — Adam Sandler returns to an old well in an attempt to get his mojo back. The original Grown Ups was a lame, lazy excuse for Sandler to get together with his chums and get paid for it, but somehow it became his second biggest movie ever.
Grown Ups 2 is slightly superior, if only because the joke total is significantly higher than the usual Sandler effort. The lowbrow humour isn’t any good, but there’s a lot of it: poop jokes, boobie jokes, gay jokes, race jokes, fat jokes — everything Sandler’s fans seem to love. Oh, and there’s also a crack about former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal’s inability to make free throws. Shaq, of course, hasn’t played since 2011. Way to stay cutting edge, Mr. Sandler.
The vaguely sketched plot pits the newly relocated Sandler, along with fellow returnees Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade, against a fraternity in a moronic pissing contest. All four friends are also having problems juggling their domineering wives, child rearing and time for hanging out with the bros (which is obviously the top priority). The notion of dramatic development seems foreign to director Dennis Dugan — as do concepts like pace, continuity and blocking.
I can’t imagine any social group not taking offense with this movie, but Grown Ups 2 is exceptionally unkind to women: they’re sex kittens or conniving harpies and nothing else. It’s also not a good sign that the funniest person here is Taylor Lautner.
It’s amazing that the only actor from the first film with enough sense to stay away from the sequel is Rob Schneider. When a movie’s not up to Schneider’s “standards”, you know you’re in serious trouble. /Jorge Ignacio Castillo