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Grown Ups 2 (0/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 101 minutes.

Not for children.

Iíve been at this for quite a while. You donít write as many critiques of films as I have without picking up a few tricks. One of mine is the ability to wipe every vestige of an Adam Sandler movie from my memory after I have finished writing about it.

Since I like to see films de novo without knowing much about them going in, I had forgotten that I had seen the first of these films, Grown-Ups (2010), and that it had starred Sandler (along with Chris Rock, Kevin James, and David Spade) and been directed by Dennis Dugan. So when the opening scene is one of Sandlerís face in bed with his wife, my heart went down to my toes, realizing that I was stuck for more than an hour and a half seeing this unfunny Saturday Night Live alum trying to be funny yet again.

The opening scene continued and confirmed my dire anticipation, about a deer who has invaded Sandlerís bedroom. But if I thought that this was as ridiculous as the movie could get, I was sadly mistaken. The movie plunged downhill from there.

What I wrote about the first is even more appropriate to this one, so I will repeat it here.

This film is a complete and utter waste of timeÖ Letís face it, none of these guys are actors; they are standup comedians. It takes talent to create onscreen chemistry, and thatís a level of talent that is beyond their ken.

Amen, brother. With the same cast, this film is worse than just being not funny. It is offensive, crude, vulgar, and appeals to the lowest level of taste and refinement. It is replete with disgusting puerile urination and scatological gags which appear in most of Sandlerís and Duganís films, leading one to wonder if they will ever reach the age of reason and start thinking like adults. The children in the film use the same gutter language as the adults, and I guess thatís supposed to be funny. Not.

Added to the cast is Shaquille OíNeal, a former basketball player. OíNeill was a horrible free-throw shooter, but he was better at the free-throw line than he is before the camera. That said, OíNeill gives the best performance in this movie, which gives you a taste for how bad everything really is.

Worse than all Iíve said above is the script. The characters are so simplistically ridiculous that they donít even rise to the level of caricature; the scenes, story and incidents are ludicrous. Itís not surprising that Sandler is a cowriter (with Fred Wolf and Tim Herlihy), but itís a sad commentary that three people couldnít come up with something better, and on a higher intellectual plane, than this.

As for Dugan, he seems to be intentionally creating a list of the worst movies ever made, adding this to You Donít Mess With the Zohan (2008) and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007).

The MPAA, in its Hollywood wisdom has given this a PG-13 rating. So all the bad language, deplorable incidents, and low moral tone apparently are less destructive to children than seeing a womanís nipple, which generally ensures an R rating. Go figure.

July 10, 2013