Grown Ups 2 is little more than a ‘supersized’ episode of a mediocre sitcom. It’s got a few funny lines and sight gags – but nothing that would justify a recommendation to spend your hard-earned cash to see it in a theater. That said, I suspect that anyone who actually saw and liked the original Grown Ups movie in 2010 will like the sequel as well. You know who you are. Enjoy. As for the rest of you grown ups out there, take a look through some of our earlier reviews and find something else to see.
Full disclosure: I didn’t see the first Grown Ups. So I’m picking up the “story” with the sequel. Here’s the gist: Lenny (Adam Sandler) has moved his family from Los Angeles back to his hometown, so his kids can grow up outside the insanity of Hollywood and inside the insanity of small-town suburbia.
The move is just as much for Lenny as for the kids, because he gets to hang out with his childhood buddies Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock), and Marcus (David Spade). “Hilarity” ensues, as the grown-ups struggle to juggle the responsibilities of marriage, parenthood and employment with the not-so-dormant immaturity of their youth. The movie culminates with a 1980s-themed party in Lenny’s backyard that will surely stir some fond memories for children of the 80s (like me) – with nods to the likes of Springsteen, Pat Benatar, Hall & Oates, Indiana Jones, big hair, etc.
The wives – played by Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph and Maria Bello – basically play the straight (wo)men to their goofy guys, though the ladies do have their regressive moments as well. And the kids are kind of cute. But this movie is ultimately about a bunch of middle-aged men attempting to recapture the glory of their youth – and learning some valuable lessons along the way. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch. It’s a comedy. With fart jokes. To cater to the teen crowd, Taylor Lautner (Twilight) puts in a shirtless appearance as the head of a fraternity that doesn’t like the old geezers invading their turf. It’s all very silly and stupid. But unapologetically so, which kind of makes it okay. If you like that sort of stuff.
Grown Ups 2 is rated PG-13 for some crude and suggestive content and language, and a flash of the guys’ bare butts. So shield your eyes, kids.