PG-13 (for crude and suggestive content, language and some male rear nudity)
July 12, 2013
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello
Sony Pictures Releasing
More on this movie at IMDb.com
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
Review:Grown Ups 2
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Director of Internet Programming
- No one questions that effective comedy in movies is often derived from a time-tested formula. Find likeable actors with excellent timing, add a witty script with effective punch lines, and complete the mix with an occasional site gag. It all seems simple enough with side-splitting laughter being the end-result.
Then, we have the case of Grown Ups 2, the latest comedic vehicle for Adam Sandler. With no clear story line and dearth of likeable actors, the exception being Kevin James, viewers are forced to sit through nearly two hours of endless sight gags, many with little to no set-up. Viewers are definitely subjected to a formula of sorts, just one that is of the highly repellent variety. Grown Ups 2 is comedic drivel of the highest order.
The Movie in a Minute
Hollywood executive Lenny Feder (Sandler), his wife (Salma Hayek) and their family move back to his New England hometown so he can be closer to his three lifelong friends (James, Chris Rock, David Spade). He also wants his children to have the same childhood he had – riding bikes to school, playing sports with friends, and being close to nature.
Set all in one day (the last day of school for their kids), the gang of four try to relive their youth through a series of mishaps involving a drugged out school bus driver (Nick Swardson), an old rival (wrestler Steve Austin) who just happens to be dating a sexually rambunctious ballet instructor (April Rose), and a band of combative frat boys from a local college. Tensions build throughout the day before boiling over at a 80s themed party that night in Lenny’s rather expansive back yard.
The Good and Bad of Grown Ups 2
If the movie has any positive quality it is the message of anti-bullying. There are several instances throughout that promote the concept of not backing down when you are being unmercifully challenged by someone. The only problem is the tactics that are encouraged to combat bullying are making rude insults and engaging in physical confrontation.
Children and fans of the 1980s will be thrilled to find an abundance of references, music, and pop culture from that era celebrated throughout the movie. The costumes worn at the 80s themed party alone will be a walk down memory lane for many.
Perhaps the best line in the entire movie comes when the ordinary-looking Sandler utters, “Just look at me, look at your mother (Hayek). That makes no sense, only in a Hollywood movie.”
As for the negative, Grown Ups 2 is rife with bodily function sight gags and jokes, large doses of sexual innuendo, excessive cleavage, and insulting humor between parents and kids.
Furthermore, the movie seems to be missing a definitive plot. There is little to no connection between many of the scenes and most are sadly lacking in the creativity department.
Where is Rob Schneider?
Noticeably absent from Grown Ups 2 is longtime Sandler comedy partner Rob Schneider. Perhaps, even Schneider, who has appeared in 12 other Sandler movies including the first installment of the Grown Ups series, knew better than to get involved in this comic chicanery.
This was not the case for others as 14 Saturday Night Live alums past and present make at least a brief appearance in the movie.
In the End
This is not a movie for the faith community. With the exception of a very slight glimmer of positive family values, Grown Ups 2 has little to any redeeming qualities. If you are looking for better family viewing fare, pack up the kids and go see Monsters University instead.
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