Adam Sandler decided he needed/wanted more money than he already has, so he’s called up pals Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James, organised a catch up, filmed the entire thing and released it as Grown Ups 2 the sequel to their first hang out. Does it resemble more of a film this time around? My review after the jump.
Now it must be said, the following plot synopsis will include actor names rather than character titles, why? Because to reveal character names would be to insinuate that a plot exists within Grown Ups 2, for as you would guess, it does not. Adam Sandler now lives in his old home town with his three children and insanely beautiful wife Salma Hayek, when on their first day of living in their new home, they’re awoken by a deer that pisses on them with pleasure and glee. Like I said, plot. He has some good friends, including Kevin James and his “wife”, Maria Bello, Chris Rock and his “wife” Maya Rudolph and then there’s bachelor David Spade, who discovers he has a long-lost son who is 13 but looks almost 25 and carries a knife around with him. Once again, plot. It’s on this particular day, in attempts to once again, like the first film, to recapture the fun and joy had in their youth, that an 80s party is randomly being thrown at Sandler’s home. The only thing jeopardising their chance of an amazing time? College kids who’ve crashed their home town, led by an incredibly obnoxious Taylor Lautner. Will their party to off without a hitch and can they stretch jokes far enough to constitute Grown Ups 2 as a film rather than a filmed catch up with friends?
The first film, which was an $80 million dollar catch up with Sandler and co, was as I just described it. The formula in which the catch up followed was:
[Set up of oddly uninspiring subplot] + [Endless build up of said sub plot] = Subplot being revealed as a joke in which a fart is the punch line while they all imitate mentally challenged seals and called it laughter.
If you haven’t seen the first Grown Ups and are reading this review, I just saved you 97 minutes. Now continue reading as I attempt to do so again…
Grown Ups 2 is indeed a better film than the first one, because it comes closer to being a film this time around, close but not quite. The formula now is:
[Joke] divided by [insult] minus [story] = Louder farts, burps and seal imitations.
There is a somewhat story, somewhat but the ultimate difference being almost any material they had is thrown at the camera, and out of the 864 jokes that fail and end in the elderly patron beside you knitting a noose, about 4 are genuinely funny, and they all include David Spade. To admit that to people who admire you in some way would be to follow the instruction of the title of the show in which made him famous. You know the one.
There is an 80’s party that’s created where their catch up results in them dressing up as prince, Michael Jackson and wham. This is a genuine saving grace, its mildly entertaining and kudos to Sandler and co for finding something remotely fun for us to enjoy, even if it lasts for a grand total of 8 minutes. So that’s the positives of Grown Ups 2, to be fair and just; but the one ultimate flaw of Grown Ups 2 that prevents it from being a piece of mindless entertainment that one can say they enjoyed without shame is this…the women.
Sandler and Director Dennis Dugan, in all their comedic ventures have never seemed to be all that respectful to women, and what makes Grown Ups 2 highly toxic is that this may be their worst attempt at portraying respectful women among absolute test tube samples of men. Maria Bello catches Kevin James lying about his whereabouts when he instead visits his mother to be pampered so she decides to take him to a bikini car wash to reward him and possibly win over his affection. Adam Sandler and Chris Rock accompany their wives to their daughter’s ballet recital, not to see their children, not to support their family but to google-eye their ballet teacher who has her cleavage hanging out, so as a result almost every male character in the film watches with joy and arousal whilst this young woman is performing with young girls. This scene goes on for about 15 minutes… No moment has ever come close to playing out like a literal adaptation to the Billy Ocean song ‘Get Out Of My Dreams And Into My Car’, it’s as pleasant as being in a line of sex offenders on a slow day at the parole office.
Their fascination with portraying women as love interests, punch-lines to jokes based solely on their appearance and almost always as objects for mean and unattractive idiots to stare at and enjoy, THEY SERVE NO OTHER PURPOSE.
This reviewer being just another straight, white male (basically the target audiences for most films released outta Hollywood) can safely say, it isn’t sexy, it isn’t enticing, it’s unpleasant seeing these incredibly talented and beautiful actresses act like submissive robots to these dullards. Any man would be infuriated at the sight of Adam Sandler, during a time when his wife Salma Hayek wants to make love, decides to fart and burp in her face and its meant to be funny and joyous,… WHY ARE YOU NEAR ALLOWED FEMALES AND CHILDREN, SANDLER??
Whatever deep seeded trauma Sandler has experience involving women and comedy, just remember, he’s been given $80 million dollars for said trauma and its being marketed for families and kids. A generation of single, degenerate trench coat wearing cinema goers who struggle to interact with people and machines are on the horizon, unless Sandler decides to make a film and read a script.
Send help, please.
By Chris Elena
Director: Dennis Dugan
Writer(s): Fred Wolf, Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade
Runtime: 101 minutes