Insultingly and insufferably stupid, imbecilic, moronic, tasteless, humorless, boring, mindless, and useless films like “Grown Ups 2” are an unmitigated desecration of the motion picture industry, and why people flock to see such repugnant garbage is totally beyond my realm of comprehension.
Three years ago Adam Sandler hit one of his many jackpots with the release of “Grown Ups,” the reunion story of five friends who had won their junior high school basketball championship in 1978 and who come together 30 years later to attend their coach’s funeral. This movie has the distinction of being the biggest box office hit of Sandler’s career as it hauled in a whopping $260 million around the world. When I saw the film, I was amazed that it had such a following because it was nothing more than another in the long line of movies in which Sanders makes a complete fool of himself. And now we have the inevitable sequel, which surpasses the original for overall senselessness.
Whereas “Grown Ups” contained some semblance of a coherent plotline, the dreadful follow-up is nothing more than a hodgepodge of loud, obnoxious, sometimes gross, and embarrassingly lame incidents connected solely by the fact that they involve the same characters. In case anyone cares, here’s an update on the main buddies.
Lenny Feder (Sandler) has resigned from his job as a Hollywood hotshot and moved his family back to his hometown, where he hopes to raise in children in a somewhat normal atmosphere.
Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) still is trying to overcome a fear from his childhood, which he explained in the film’s production notes.
“One of the things the movie is about is these guys re-living their youth a bit, and now that they’re grown up, they’re facing up to the things they never dealt with when they were young. My guy is the one guy who never jumped off the huge cliff at the quarry back in the day. Lenny and the guys don’t let me live it down, and so when the challenge is put in front of me, I am forced to conquer the fears of my youth or go to a diner, either one.”
Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock), who was a househusband in the first film, now has a job as a cable repairman, but he doesn’t work very hard, as Rock points out in the production notes.
“He’s supposed to be a cable repairman, but — like all cable repairmen — he’s figured out how to do as little real work as possible. He gives you the window – ‘I’ll be there between noon and four’ — and then he waits for that one moment when you can’t answer the door. Knock, no answer, and boom — he leaves the note, reschedule.”
Marcus Higgins (Dave Spade), the consummated womanizer in the first film, finally must face the music in the sequel. Spade revealed his character’s problem in the production notes.
“In the first movie, he discovered that the life he thought he wanted, single and free, wasn’t as fulfilling as his friends’ even though they were tied down with wives and kids. Well, in the sequel, he finds out that the free-and-easy life wasn’t as free or easy as he thought — he has a son that he never knew about, and he’s coming up to the town to spend some time with the father he never knew. Oh, and the kid is about 18 and enormous and knows how to hold a grudge.”
Finally we have Nick Swardson as Nick, a character who wasn’t in the original, and so we can skip him.
So what does this “Grown Ups 2” have to offer filmgoers? Well here’s a partial list: a deer with a propensity for emptying its bladder on people, lots of crotch shots and crotch-grabbing, fart jokes ad nauseum, urine and more urine, bare asses, and the obligatory deification sight-gags.
Forgive me dear readers, but I grow weary of discussing this abomination, and so I shall waste no more of your time or my own. It’s truly discouraging that grown ups would agree to make a movie like “Grown Ups 2” and even more disheartening that other grown ups actually shell out the money to see it. This one earns a nicely deserved zero, and if there’s a third chapter, count me out.