Grown Ups 2 Review
I can say with brute honesty that Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade are all fascinating comedic actors. If you dig deep into each career you will find at least a couple gems. Sandler's early career is comedic bliss, Rock in his "Kevin Smith days" is exquisite, Spade can get me to smile even when he isn't being Chris Farley's sidekick and James television work is very good. With all that said, I don't understand why all four of these guys proceed to churn out crap each year. They are all better than the material they are involved in, so why do they sign on? I think somebody has to fire their agent(s).
I will give "Grown Ups 2" a couple positives. There are not nearly as many scenes involving at least one of these actors hurting them selves for easy laughs. I'd go as far as the movie does not feature as much weird gross humor involving ugly people or elderly people, none of that was remotely funny in the first film. I think the scene at the end involving the gang war between the preppy, college douches against the 40-something year old family people, all wearing costumes of their favorite 80's culture icons, would have been something...had it been in a funny, good movie.
What the sequel lacks in pain jokes and gross humor, it makes up for in pedestrian life lessons. Who would have known that for a sequel to a movie that didn't come close to calling for a sequel, it would actually have something insightful to say. Sorry that insightful-ness doesn't really add up to much. The biggest thing this movie wanted to say was that if you have kids, eventually they will grow up, and the parents will become old and not be "legendary" anymore. Wow, how poetic, did they come up with that premise on their own? "Grown Ups 2," like its predecessor, isn't much of a movie at all. It's just a day in the life of these four friends as they throw a party at their house. Throughout the length of the day they will...giggle,giggle...learn valuable life lessons in the most mind-numbing of cinematic cliches. They will also overcome personal struggles from when they were children too!
I guess I could say Sandler, James, Rock and Spade are fine. They just barely play actual characters and they have slim-to-no funny dialogue. I find Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph to be beautiful, talented actresses. However, they aren't given characters to play either. The film has a host of cameos including Taylor Lautner, Shaquille O'Neal, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and many more. All of them not even worth the excitement the names would enthuse. Lautner in particular, who proves each year that he sucks at acting, gives a dreadful, stiff, crap performance. The very notion of splattering his face all over the screen makes me cringe. How does this guy even get work? Cheri Oteri, so funny in the 1999/2000 run of SNL, is painfully wasted in this sequel. The only actor that at least tries to make this experience worthwhile is Steve Buscemi, he makes the most of his material. He is only the true standout.
If you saw "Grown Ups" back in 2010, you pretty much know what you are getting yourself into. If that was a fun experience for you, I envy you. I wish I could like these movies, given the talent involved. I want these guys to do well in what they do. A serious change need to be made, before its too late.
FINAL GRADE: D