You can tell a comedy is bad when it produces more sighs than laughs.
“Grown Ups 2” picks up some time after the first movie, and follows Hollywood man Lenny (Sandler) now living with his family in his home town. The movie follows Lenny and his friends Eric (James), Kurt (Rock) and Marcus (Spade) through a day where they plan on having an 80s theme party that night.
That short paragraph is, in truth, the only story going on in “Grown Ups 2.” The movie is more or less connected by a string of subplots that go nowhere and random hijinks between the four leads and their families.
But hey, despite having a weak (or in this case no) plot, a comedy can still be good if it brings a lot of laughs, right? Correct. Except here, the laughs don’t really come either. The film opens with Adam Sandler and his wife played by Salma Hayek being peed on by a deer, and that really sets the tone of what to expect through the movie. What follows are jokes about farts, burps, vomit and pooping, what a treat.
It feels less like this movie, and the humor for that matter, was actually written, and more like the characters were just ad-libbing. Hardly any of the comedy comes off as attempting to be clever, instead, we just basically watch Adam Sandler and the rest of the crew goof off for an hour and a half. Missing from that crew, though, is Rob Schneider’s character who appeared in the first movie. For whatever reason, the film doesn’t even make the attempt to explain what happened to that character.
The rest of the supporting cast isn’t any better. Maya Rudolph and Salma Hayek’s performances feel phoned in and Nick Swardson (who plays a character named Nick, what a stretch) just acts like a complete moron for the whole run time. Taylor Lautner also makes an appearance in the film as an over the top frat boy, it’s apparent from this movie at least that Lautner does not have much comedic timing.
The first “Grown Ups” actually managed to win me over somewhat. There was an actual premise of these characters coming together after their coach dies and learn what they’ve been up to over the past couple years. A sort of reunion type comedy. That film seemed like it actually tried just a bit.
“Grown Ups 2” just doesn’t try. There’s no real effort made. It felt like this was just a cash in for Sandler and his buddies to hang out for a few hours and do some stupid things. At the very best, the film can produce some chuckles. Overall, though, nothing about this movie holds up well. 1 out of 5.