Grown Ups 2 (PG)

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Review byMatthew Turner16/08/2013

One out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Abysmal sequel that, like its equally terrible predecessor is utterly charmless and doesn't have a single decent laugh in it thanks to an almost insultingly lazy script and even lazier performances.

What's it all about?
Directed by Dennis Dugan, Grown Ups 2 begins with a CGI reindeer pissing in Adam Sandler's face and basically goes downhill from there. After reuniting in the first film, best friends Lenny (Adam Sandler), Kurt (Chris Rock), Eric (Kevin James) and Marcus (David Spade) and their wives (Salma Hayek as Roxanne, Maya Rudolph as Dee and Maria Bello as Sally – Marcus is single) have all moved back to their home town so as to spend more time together.

Throughout the course of the film the group's kids go through various rites of passage such as being bullied, going on a first date or discovering they are talented at something and there are various tiny subplots such as a colleague of Roxanne's (Cheri Oteri) being obsessed with Lenny or Marcus discovering he has a thuggish teenage kid (Alexander Ludwig) from a hook-up at college. However, the only real plot to speak of involves the friends throwing an impromptu 80s-themed costume party and getting into a fight with a group of angry frat boys led by Taylor Lautner, in what has to be one of the most naked pieces of stunt casting in recent memory.

The Bad
Grown Ups 2 is so mind-numbingly terrible that it's difficult to know where to begin. For one thing, the performances are so lazy that they barely qualify as performances at all – as with the first film, the filmmakers assume that audiences will be happy just to see Sandler clowning about with his juvenile buddies. The filmmakers are wrong.

The script is almost insultingly lazy too, filled with jokes that cycle through racism, homophobia and sexism and then add vomiting and fart gags for good measure. Indeed, the climax of the film (look away now if you don't want to know the ending, but trust me, I'm doing you a favour) involves Sandler's character triumphantly producing his first ‘burp-snart’, a burp-sneeze-fart combo pioneered (and executed multiple times) by Kevin James.

The Worse
The film fails on every conceivable level. The jokes are painfully unfunny, the editing is all over the place, there's no sense of structure and the characters aren't even convincing as a group of friends, while the women are either shamefully underused or only there to be leered at (sample gag: Sandler high-fiving his postman over the size of Salma Hayek's tits).

If you were feeling generous you could just about make a case for the idea that Sandler is wilfully subverting (or at least deliberately ignoring) the clichés and sentimentality inherent in this kind of film, but if that's the case then the end doesn't justify the means.

Worth seeing?
Grown Ups 2 is comfortably one of the worst films of the year. Avoid like your life depended on it.

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Content updated: 17/12/2019 02:55

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