Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: Grown Ups 2

Release date: July 12, 2013
Running time: 101 minutes
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek
Who to see it with: Someone who likes Adam Sandler movies or someone who is coming to terms with their age!


Grown Ups 2 follows a group of friends on a very eventful day as they come to terms with becoming / being old with kids. You could almost call it a coming of age movie, if the age was in the forties. The four friends deal with balancing their kids, their age, and the realization that they are at a different time in their lives. That doesn't stop them from trying to relive some of their old glories with varying degrees of success. Adam Sandler has made a career of keeping his friends employed in his various movies. His production company, Happy Madison Productions, seemingly only creates movies that star or feature cameos by amigos he's made throughout his career. At the same time, you get the feeling that he genuinely likes the movies he's making and you have to respect his loyalty. And with each movie, he not only has cameos from many of the faces that have peppered his previous films, but also includes a few new characters who will hopefully appear in future Sandler flicks.

Grown Ups 2 is not a good movie, but it does have a fun collection of characters in some pretty ridiculous situations. The story is unhurried, as the four friends cruise around their town and find themselves in bizarre and occasionally hilarious situations. The acting is typical of a Sandler film--over the top with some pretty bad delivery. Many of the dialog feels broken and unnatural. And, as I seem to mention in a lot of movies, the CG is terrible in the few times it's used. But, there are plenty of genuinely funny moments throughout the movie and a ton of hilarious appearances by some great actors. Grown Ups 2 feels less like a story and more like a series of random encounters by Sandler and friends. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and--similar to the recent That's My Boy--leads to some very funny moments. The interactions between the four main stars feel natural and are the most enjoyable part of the film. The sporadic parts played by Sandler regulars and surprising new additions add laughs and craziness. Overall, it's an enjoyable experience but not a must see.

Rent it.

It's somewhat fun to watch but not a good movie. The four central characters loosely connect everything, but it seems like Sandler decided to not let things like logic and plot dictate the film's sense of humor. The random feel of GU2 is interesting because the first was fairly plot-driven, but the first film's plot wasn't anything special anyway. This approach allows them to fully focus on the comedy. The jokes come at a rapid-fire pace, and the cameos, poor CG and randomness of everything can make it a humorously absurd series of events. A lot of the humor is silly and ineffective, but there is so much of it that you'll probably find yourself chuckling at some point. I wouldn't recommend Grown Ups 2, but its nonstop madness sometimes works. 

Don't see it.

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