The Review: 'Growns Ups 2' Expects You Not to Care, Just Like Adam Sandler

The Review: 'Growns Ups 2' Expects You Not to Care, Just Like Adam Sandler

Jul 15, 2013

Adam Sandler knows you don't care.

He knows it because you ignore the chances he takes when he stars in films for thoughtful adult audiences. Remember Punch Drunk Love? Reign Over Me? Funny People? No? That's because you didn't buy a ticket.

And because he knows you don't care he decided to stop caring, too. So he delivered Grown Ups, a heaving gasp of laziness so corruptly unfunny that it defied any rational defense, a PG-rated comedy death grip for families to watch and forget together. And it was a big hit. Now, as a reward you get Grown Ups 2 to remind you of all the stuff you failed to absorb from the first one. This is the "whatever" element of whatever it takes to get children and low-functioning adults back into theaters after the weirdly underperforming Jack & Jill and the R-rated debauchery-jam That's My Boy.

The almost story, one that takes place over the course of a single day but isn't actually substantial enough to fill up this 100-minute highlight reel of celebrity slacking, involves Adam Sandler's character not wanting more children as his wife (Salma Hayek) drops hint after hint that she's carrying their fourth child. Meanwhile, the other guys -- Kevin James, David Spade, Chris Rock -- hang out with Sandler, do nothing, talk about the old days, run amok in a K-Mart and start each sentence with, "Hey, remember that thing we did when we were kids?" and "Hey, remember 20 minutes ago when we were at K-Mart and all that stuff we saw and did there?" Then there's an '80s-themed party that materializes out of nowhere. The J. Geils Band plays. The End.

Padding all of this "not anything" is [note: here come all the spoilers -- if this matters to you then stop reading now, but I can't imagine it mattering to you] an elk pissing in Sandler's face, then doing the same thing to Sandler's masturbating teenage son, some screaming, engorged diapers on a toddler who also somehow knows how to impersonate Michael Jackson in the "Beat It" video, more screaming, Nick Swardson as a drugged school-bus driver who's fond of "eating bananas with [his] butt," adult drooling, boogers on Cheetos, sexual harassment of all the women on-screen, an extremely female bodybuilder subjected to relentless gender scrutiny, pepper spray, a lot more screaming, full-screen close-ups of hairy man buttocks, a trick performed by Kevin James called the Burp-Snart, Shaquille O'Neal's nipple massage, somebody's balls, David Spade projectile vomiting, kids peeing on stuff, a series of "family is so important" homilies, a violent brawl, Swardson making out with a dog and Colin Quinn straddling a soft-serve chocolate ice cream machine while simulating nonstop diarrhea.

That last bit, the diarrhea gag, was actually pretty funny. Here's why: Sandler's brand of lowbrow is extreme and only works properly when unchained. That's My Boy, as offensive and repulsive and ugly as it was, also fulfilled its intensely scatological mission. It aimed for pure disgust and slam-dunked it. I recall laughing throughout, only somewhat ashamed of myself for doing so, realizing that I'd rather be shocked into a laugh than bored to sleep. But maybe that's not you and you like the no-effort Sandler. Or maybe you've got insomnia. Well, here's its opposite.


Categories: Reviews
Tags: Grown Ups 2
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