If you know the film, you intuitively know who is going to be mentioned methodically. But we talk about the obvious let me begin with a small confession, I think the first Grown Ups shouldn’t have been so critically slammed. Adam Sandler is someone who seems to keep chasing his glory days even though the gap between them is getting further and further because of the kind of comedies he makes. They’re often phoned in with all the typical elements that come along with a Sandler film like SNL alumni, character types and crude humour. However Grown Ups dialed back somewhat on those cliches and what shows was people who were trying to make the writing work. Grown Ups 2 on the other hand, went right back to classic Sandler, and it was awful.
Grown Ups 2 continues from the previous film with Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) moving back to his hometown with his family and friends Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Marcus (David Spade). The four get into “funny” antics along with a whole host of new characters such as an unstable school bus driver (Nick Swardson), the leader of a college fraternity (Taylor Lautner) and a hair conscious K-mart worker (Tim Meadows) and his taller younger brother (Shaquille O’Neal).
So this film is the first Adam Sandler comedy to be a sequel due to the first film doing surprising well at the box office, clearly there was something in the first Grown Ups that people liked. However with the very first scene of this film you know your in for a disappointing ride when the first gag is a bad CGI deer urinating on Adam Sandler’s face. Although, credit to the deer, he did the one things you’ll all be wanting to do after seeing Grown Ups 2.
You’ll notice that as I was describing Grown Ups 2, I didn’t actually talk about a central story. well there isn’t one because of course there’s not. Grown Ups 2 seems to get confused between story and gags because all this film is is one gag sequence after another that never at any point become funny. Immature comedy can be good as long you don’t use it as some sort of last resort button for a cheap laugh, but let’s face it, that’s all Adam Sandler has been doing for the past decades. The worst part is, he’s dragged lots of funny people down with him. One good example is Chris Rock, I’m a humongous fan of Chris Rock, I think he’s one of the funniest people on earth but seeing him have to try and make this crude, unfunny humour land is painful to watch, and I’m sure it was painful for him to do. You have to think that maybe your comedy isn’t funny anymore when even Rob Schneider doesn’t want any part of it.
Do you know what’s less funny that humour that isn’t funny, humour that isn’t funny but thinks it’s funny. Like the guy who laughs at his own jokes, it a very awkward thing to sit through. In the film there are plenty of jokes that once the punchline has been said, it leaves that bit of empty space for the audience to laugh in before continuing on. But when no one is laughing, that gap becomes ten times longer in your mind and you’re just sitting there waiting for the film to carry on, but to your annoyance, the film thinks you’re laughing so you’re caught in this cycle of awkwardness and annoyance.
The big convergence in the “story” and “characters” is that they all come together and have a 80’s themed party but they then have a big fight with the fraternity members, which by this point you forgot even existed in this film, where characters resolve issues with other characters and so on and so forth. Now I know is a cheap comedy, but even by cheap comedy standard, this big fight scene is so stupid even the part of our brain that’s appealed to stupidness is having a difficult time processing what’s going on.
I have no doubt there are still fans of the films Adam Sandler makes, and if that’s your thing I would never stop you from your enjoyment. However I know that in reality, these films are never going to be consider comedic gold later down the line, especially Grown Ups 2. There’s no surprise that actors and comedian who are usually funny wouldn’t pass down a chance to be in an Adam Sandler film because they know there’s a lot of money to be made and paid it. I mean because the first Grown Ups did so well, Adam Sandler bought each of its main co-stars a new car each. But there’s a reason we never hear of new Adam Sandler comedies in cinemas anymore. Despite he seems to have moved to making Netflix exclusives, the world is soo tired of this type of humour, it was great when the world allowed it to be popular, but the gates have now been shut and padlocked.