The first Grown Ups movie wasn’t anything special but it did provide a few laughs and a relatively coherent plot, Grown Ups 2 on the other hand has no real plot to speak of but worst of all, there’s no real laughs and seeing this cast back together is hardly enough to hold the film together.
Sony | PG13 – 101 min. – $40.99 | November 5, 2013
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Writer(s): Adam Sandler & Fred Wolf & Tim Herlihy (written by)
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, Nick Swardson, Steven Buscemi, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz
Theatrical Release Date: July 12, 2013
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 29.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 0.5/5
There comes a point when a man must reflect on his life and ask where it’s going. It was within the first 10-minutes of the crappola known as Grown Ups 2 I began wondering what I did to deserve the wrath of God – or the evil enjoyment of Satan – because my goodness was this a horrid comedy through and through.
I realize Adam Sandler never was a brilliant comedy writer but back in the 90s he had a couple hits like Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer (my personal favorite) and even Big Daddy, but his outings of late, such as Just Go With It and Jack and Jill were horrible. Well, I guess he’s on a roll because GU2 is an awful sequel to what was already a, at best, mediocre film.
Ok, so the plot for this one is… oh, hell with it, there really is no plot to speak of. The film opens with family man Lenny Feder (ADAM SANDLER) waking up next to his beautiful wife Roxanne (SALMA HAYEK) on one side and a big ass deer standing at his bedside on the other. Roxanne wakes up, screams the deer pisses over Lenny and mahem and chaos ensue as it tramps through the house, pissing on son Greg (JAKE GOLDBERG), as he showered before Lenny figures out it wants daughter Becky’s (ALEXYS NYCOLE SANCHEZ) favorite stuffed toy. Deer runs outside and all is safe. Oh, and how did it get in there? Becky left the open the door all night to let the woodland creatures inside. Good thing this wasn’t some sort of dark comedy and it was a burglar instead…
At this point I knew I was in for a very long ride with such a contrived scenario that wasn’t even funny and downright disgusting. But it was only the tip of the iceberg.
We’re also re-introduced to Lenny’s four pals: Eric (KEVIN JAMES) and wife Sally (MARIA BELLO); Kurt (CHRIS ROCK), his wife Deanne (MAYA RUDOLPH), daughter Charlotte (CHINA ANNE MCCLAIN), son Andre (NADJI JETER) and young son Ronnie; and finally Marcus (DAVID SPADE) has a storyline involving a grown son (ALEXANDER LUDWIG) he never knew about until recently and is town to spend time… going to school on the last day. Notice their other friend isn’t there as Rob Schneider had scheduling conflicts (lucky him) and unable to reprise his role.
The remainder of the movie is just the four pals, joined by spaced out school bus driver Nick (NICK SWARDSON), roaming around, going to K-Mart for some product placement, make unfunny and crude jokes and reminisce about old times. There’s also some side story with the wives attending a squatting class run by a man named Kyle who grabs the women’s attention but who, of course, is also gay. The four pals also face off against a bunch prick fraternity students.
In one of the more ridiculous moments, and trust me there are plenty to choose from, is the climax in which the Feder house is the setting for a 1980s theme party. Sounds good, right? I’d say so, if the party had been in the works for months in advance except this one was thrown within hours notice. And yet all the attendees are able to put together fairly intricate costumes and book a rocking 80s band. Now, I could overlook this if any of the sequence garnered a single laugh but like the preceding 70-minutes, there are none to be had.
As with other Happy Gilmore produced movies, Grown Ups 2 also serves to bring in some of Sandler’s buddies and I think that was the only point of this film is for them to have a good time, actual laughs for the audience be damned; kind of like Ocean’s Twelve minus the talent, charisma and style.
Along with Swardson, who I’ve never found funny outside of maybe 30 Minutes or Less (maybe), there are cameos galore from Steve Austin in one of the more unusual roles, Colin Quinn, Steve Buscemi and Tim Meadows reprising their roles from the first, Jon Lovitz in a pointless appearance and the biggest transgression: Shaquille O’Neal playing a police officer. Seriously, did Sandler not see Steel? Even for a comedic cameo, the man has no timing although given this script, co-written by Sandler, I’m not sure if anyone else could’ve made it work anyway.
Directed by Dennis Dugan, who I swear can only get work from Sandler, Grown Ups 2 is an insult to the comedy genre with a tattered plot and worst of all, unfunny jokes and one running gag that wasn’t funny the first time and yet we’re forced to endure it 10+ times and even fade out with it at the end! I’m not sure where the 1990s Adam Sandler went but this 21st century is on a losing streak and yet audiences still eat it up as this sequel raked in $240 million at the worldwide box office.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
This 2-disc release comes with a glossy slip cover. Inside is the retail DVD Copy and a download code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy.
Deleted Scenes (6:28; HD) – Check out the 8 gems that didn’t make it into the film!
Look Who Stopped By (4:26; HD) chronicles the new members of the cast for the sequel.
The Feder House (1:31; HD) is a brief tour of house set/stage.
Mr. Spade’s Wild Ride (2:10; HD) examines Spade’s “hilarious” tire ride.
Shaq and Dante: Police Force (1:53; HD) is a lame look at the stunt casting.
Previews – White House Down, One Direction: This is Us, After Earth.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Sony releases Grown Ups 2 on Blu-ray with a 1080p high-definition transfer (mastered in 4K) and presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio. Not surprisingly, colors are vibrant and the detail levels strong showing every bit on the actors faces. I wouldn’t call this an amazing transfer but it’s more than suitable, and perhaps too good, for this movie.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track offers crisp and clear detail levels from the center channel which gets the bulk of the audio. The front and rear channels mostly get used for side action, ambient noises and Rupert Gregson-Williams’ comedic score.
OVERALL – 2.0/5
Overall, the first Grown Ups movie wasn’t anything special but it did provide a few laughs and a relatively coherent plot, Grown Ups 2 on the other hand has no real plot to speak of but worst of all, there’s no real laughs and seeing this cast back together is hardly enough to hold the film together. I’m not sure where the old Adam Sandler went but based on his recent track record, I’m afraid he’s gone for good and since audiences seem to be accepting of this series, there’s no reason for him to even try anymore. The Blu-ray released by Sony is weak with the bonus features while the audio/video transfers are good.