Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Grown Ups 2 (2013)
I was surprised as anyone the first time I saw the trailer for Grown Ups 2. Did anyone actually like it? I don't know anyone that does, but maybe that's because they're afraid of being Force-choked for admitting that in my presence. Good taste aside, I guess the first made enough money because there's no way they'd make another one otherwise.
I guess the beauty of Grown Ups 2 for the studio is that it couldn't have taken more than a week or two to make, and the budget couldn't have been spent on much else than the actor's salaries. I know they didn't spend money on writers or an editor. Grown Ups 2 doesn't even have a plot. Seriously, I defy anyone to watch Grown Ups 2 and tell me what it's about. It's just a bunch of short sketches and gags. I think this is what frustrates me about Adam Sandler and Co. so much. With these guys being SNL alumni, you'd think this would be their strength. Also, we've all seen guys like David Spade, Tim Meadows, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and even Nick Swardson be much funnier in their own standup routines, other movies and TVs shows. Yet somehow combining all of these guys amounts to a bunch of lazy, uninspired comedy. Is it that they don't care, have total contempt for the audience, or genuinely think this stuff is funny? I can't help but watch Grown Ups 2 and think that if they had just put even a modicum of effort into the writing, then we'd genuinely have a funny movie on our hands. I can forgive a lack of plot if the movie is hilarious otherwise.
A lot of the humor is based on things that simply can't happen in reality. The opening scene is the one you see in the trailer where somehow a deer gets into the house and up to a second story bedroom without anyone noticing or waking up. I guess it was a stealth deer. This leads into a stupid pee joke that wasn't funny in the first place, but looked awful because they did it with bad CG. They do this pee joke twice! Why is this even in the movie? They could have not put this in the movie and saved the money on the bad CG. Cause F-you, that's why!
At least I didn't find the humor as mean spirited as in Sandler's more recent films. However, if you aren't into poop, fart or throw up gags, then there's a lot you aren't going to like. I'll admit there's a part of me that still can laugh a good fart or burp, so when Kevin James does his burp-sneeze-fart I couldn't help but chuckle a little. I also got a giggle out of some of the various cameos sprinkled throughout the film. The thing is a cameo isn't a joke by itself, and many are dependent on you even knowing who these people are. Like if you don't recognize older SNL cast members, ESPN anchors, or lesser known comedians, their appearances will likely go unnoticed by you.
The rest of the film is lame fratboy humor, or making fun of characters that aren't aware they are the butt of the joke. There's a running gag where Tim Meadows and family just go "Whaaa?!" anytime they are insulted. There's no comeback, just "Whaaa?!" It doesn't go anywhere, and it's a non-joke. Lots of these scenes ended abruptly when it wasn't working. It didn't seem to be working on the audience either as I heard muted laughter at most of these things.
As with all Sandler films, his obsession with the 80's continue. We get our normal fix of 80's music, but the film ends with a 80's themed party. I wonder who's idea that was? It's just another lame reason to shoehorn more 80's references into the movie. I love the 80's as much as the next guy, but this is gone way past being old. Although I did think it was kind of funny to see Chris Rock dressed as 80's Prince.
Lastly, I'm glad they had the good sense to get rid of that scene about getting wasted and tricking the kids into thinking it had something to do with ice cream "I'm wanna get chocolate wasted!" Did a child actually write that? Ugh...so much of this film is just cringeworthy.
Grown Ups 2 is lazy, uninspired, childish, unfunny and directionless. If the name Adam Sandler wasn't on the top of the poster, I don't see how this film sees the light of day, let alone gets made. The only reason I'm not giving this a zero is that I chucked a few times at the cameos and I haven't completely outgrown burp and fart humor. There are some genuinely funny films in theaters right now. Grown Ups 2 isn't one of them. Don't pay to see this film in any format.
.5 (out of 5) Death Stars