Robbie K hitting you up with another movie review. This time we hit another comedy sequel starring one of the most famous big kids in the world (Adam Sandler) and his gang. Let’s face it; Sandler’s characters haven’t changed much over the last two decades as he continues to bring child like mannerisms into various situations. While this was funny in the beginning with Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, etc., many have grown tired of the linearity that has become his career. Well this weekend we get one of his first sequels in the form of Grown Ups 2, which bragged about the cavalcade of comedians that were making an appearance. Of course a star studded cast often fails in many ways, which seems to present a challenge to directors to try and defy the trend. Was Grown Ups 2 one of these movies or did it fail to impress? Read on to find out.
Comedy is the primary element in Grown Ups 2 that entertained me, as well as the audience, the most. What kind of comedy? In truth, this movie has a quite a spectrum of comedic styles tagged with the various celebrities that fill this movie to the brim. Sandler’s focus is spread between bathroom humor, exaggerated injury stunts, and throwing insults at the random people he meets. Kevin James acts like an overgrown kid, who screams at the top of his lungs, while cracking jokes about his weight. Chris Rock takes the comedy involving awkward approaches and fear of his daughter dating. Finally David Spade plays the lazy bum with issues, in particular falling for the wrong women and now trying to deal with the illegitimate son (Alexander Ludwig). You’ve seen these roles plenty of times now to know if you want to see them again, where those who are tired or can’t stand these actors wanting to avoid this movie like the plague. I’ll admit I chuckled at some of these tired comedy shticks, but many of the jokes these guys threw at did little to amuse me.
Instead the parts I laughed with had to do with the surrounding cast, who seemed to have gotten the better, often more extreme, humor situations. Nick Swardson got the more extreme character that knew no limits, often got injured in ridiculous ways, and crossed the line often to make his character unpredictable. Did it go a little too far sometimes? Yes, especially when it came to some sexual relationships and inappropriate dressing. Shaquille O’Neal believe it or not wasn’t that bad either, the former Kazaam star often getting a well timed joke about his size, or basketball weaknesses. As for the rest of the extras, they were kind of hit or miss for me. Sometimes extras like Steve Buscemi, Jon Lovitz, or Maya Rudolph would get a lot of laughs for the few things they did. Other times characters by Tim Meadows, Taylor Lautner, and Cheri Oteri were either too stupid, too annoying, or did the same things over and over again to bore you to death. The younger actors that play Sandler and crew’s kids have been diluted in this role, now nothing more than tools used for the adult comedy. Last movie they provided the cute comedy, the naïve belief of everything their parents saying being true. This time however, they have a couple of cute scenes, awkward scenes, but for the most part just lack anything worth elaborating on.
So what is my point of telling you comedy styles other than to fill up space? It is to make the point that bringing in lots of stars is not the best formula for a successful movie. Grown Ups 2 could have been just as cute and entertaining as the first movie had they not crammed so many people into such a small time frame. I’ve already admitted there is some well timed moment that will have you laughing, but Grown Ups 2 felt like a mash up of too much stupidity rolled into one package. The result of this, a lack of any story or moral dilemma for the characters making them really just clumsy idiots who have yet to grow up. I know that is kind of the point, but at least the first movie had a plot to build this concept around, while bringing some cute morals to the table. Without this story, the comedy was chaotic and unorganized, making it annoying and tiresome for this reviewer. Luckily, there is a common endpoint to unite all the cast together, the last thirty minutes tying up any loose ends for the whatever plot there is.
Other than that there isn’t much else to say about the film, so let’s go ahead and wrap it up. Grown Ups 2 is a fun movie for those who just want to laugh at constant comedic jabs. Fans of Adam Sandler or any of the Happy Madison crew will still enjoy the tried and true characters from the films, because they are the same guys we’ve seen for over decade. However, if you want something more to your movie, such as a plot or organization, then skip this movie and wait for the bunch that are coming out next week. Grown Ups 2 scores are the following:
Movie Overall: 4.5