GROWN UPS 2
2013, PG-13, 100 mins.
2013, PG-13, 100 mins.
Adam Sandler as Lenny Feder / Salma Hayek as Roxanne Chase-Feder / Chris Rock as Kurt McKenzie / Rob Schneider as Rob Hilliard / Kevin James as Eric Lamonsoff / Maya Rudolph as Deanne McKenzie / David Spade as Marcus Higgins / Alexys Nycole Sanchez as Becky Feder
Directed by Dennis Dugan / Written by Fred Wolf
had root canals that were more pleasurable and tolerable to sit through
than GROWN UPS 2, a bewilderingly unfunny sequel to the already
bewilderingly unfunny original. The
opening five minutes were enough to make me want to leave the screening,
rush home, roll myself into a ball, and cry like toddler.
During it, a deer – all rendered in what’s clearly computer
generated graphics – walks into the family home of Larry Fender (Adam
Sandler) and proceeds to urinate all over his face.
It’s not done there. The
crazed animal then goes to various other rooms and methodically sprays
itself all over the house and ON Lenny’s children.
read that GROWN UPS 2 cost an unfathomable $80 million to produce.
Dear Lord. Some of it
must have – I’m guessing – gone to create that elaborate deer
visual effect…but to what ultimate end?
What’s inherently funny about a wild animal standing on its hind
legs, genitalia exposed, peeing on frightened adults and their children?
Moreover, how utterly embarrassed were the visual effects artisans
in working on and completing this portion of the film?
What was the pitch to the studio like?
Did it begin with (Sandler and company): “Okay, the opening scene
is gonna have a deer projectile piss in my mouth while I’m in bed”?
How could any sensible minded studio front nearly a hundred million
dollars to such a wasteful pursuit when so many other struggling and
creative filmmaking minds are so desperate to make a name for themselves?
hated the first GROWN UPS from
2010…and I really, really, really hated GROWN UPS 2, which not
only manages to be yet another reliably dreadful comedy (ha!) on Adam
Sandler’s already embarrassing resume of stinkers, but it perhaps
represents a new low for the overall creative process of actually making
movies and telling a tangible story.
This just might be the laziest scripted film that I’ve ever seen:
GROWN UPS 2 does not so much contain an actual plot as it does have just a
series of very loosely tied together vignettes that traverse from one
soul-crushingly awful and unfunny gag and pratfall to the next.
Offensively, the film tries, as it may, to contain messages about
the importance of family values and the spirit of community…but it
sheepishly does so at the expense of a lot of jokes involving
pooping, farting, vomiting, stained underwear, homophobia, and, yes, deer
urination. Some films scrape the barrel…this one scrapes it, puts a
hole in the bottom, and then still continues southward into the soil.
plot that we do have occurs three years after the events of the first
film, during which time Lenny has taken his family back to his Connecticut
hometown where he and his BFFs grew up, comprised of Kurt (Chris Rock),
Eric (Kevin James) and Marcus (David Spade).
The old boys wish to kick off the summer with a 1980’s themed
party to end all 1980’s themed summer parties, but, yes, a series of
roadblocks get in their path. For starters, Lenny’s wife wants to have another baby,
which leaves Lenny feeling more than a bit reluctant. Kurt is having issues with his wife Deanne (Maya Rudolph)
forgetting important things…like their wedding anniversary.
Eric seems to take more solace in spending time with his elderly
mother than with his own wife Sally (Mario Bello).
Marcus acquaints himself with a son that he never apparently knew
he had. Worse yet, a brat
pack of rowdy frat boys – led by, of course, Taylor Launtner – have
decided to make the men’s lives a living hell leading up to their
comedy is in deep, deep trouble when it has to rely on “comic
relief” from performers like Taylor Launtner, Stone Cold Steve Austin,
and Shaquille O’Neal to provide…laughs.
Of course, the Sandlerian brand of comedy usually entails a
cornucopia of celeb cameos (remember the likes of Al Pacino and Nicole
Kidman in some of his previous films?), but they are more or less here for
what must have been a fine payday (remember, this film’s budget was $80
million). When GROWN UPS 2
isn’t making you laugh it’s most likely either boring you into watch
checking frustration or shocking you into apathetic submission.
Some scenes seem to take forever to actually build to a would-be
funny payoff that never occurs, whereas others contain nauseatingly immature sight gags that would have been tossed away on the cutting room
floor of just about any other comedy.
This film’s idea of heartily hysterical moments involve, for
instance, chocolate soft serve ice cream that’s made to look like
excrement coming out of the serviceman’s rear end.
Even an automated laugh track would not laugh at this film.
know who I feel truly bad for here? Stars
Maya Rudolph, Salma Hayek, and Mario Bello, all of whom are lovely and
talented actresses that have appeared in films far better than this
puerile and dislikeable drivel. Rudolph
herself is a fine on-screen comedian when given the opportunity, whereas
Bello and Hayek are accomplished actresses whose talents are limitlessly
above the material in this film. Part
of the confounding aspect of sitting through – make that enduring - this
film is mentally tabulating the manner with which these ladies (a) agreed
to be in the first film and (b) agreed to yet again appear in the sequel.
I can understand Sandler’s participation, or even James’ and
Spade’s (they have all worked together in films in the past), but what
of Chris Rock? He’s
arguably one of the best and most respected stand-up comedians of his
generation…was there ever a fleeting moment when he thought that the
material in GROWN UPS 1 or 2 was worthy of his inclusion and
whole film culminates at the 80’s themed party, and it is indeed kind of
fun to see so many inspired costumes referencing iconic people/characters
from the decade, but it then devolves into a massive fight between the
adults and that pesky, Taylor Lautner-led frat boy legion.
Even the young kids get involved in the violent fisticuffs.
How funny. How very, very
reached a point where I just don't really want to write about this film
anymore, so I will close with this: GROWN UPS 2 made me sad, but
perhaps it’s of no real surprise (it marks the eighth teaming of Sandler
and director Dennis Dugan, and each new effort seems worse than the one
that preceded it). It’s
almost unfathomable to think of another film effort that’s as wasteful
as pointless as this film. And
remember…I’ve seen MOVIE 43.
Even that film had the decency to not include a scene with frazzled
deer suffering from bladder control issues.