Now Playing: ‘Grown Ups’ Still Groan-Worthy

I would rather be shot in kneecaps than have to watch the first ‘Grown Ups‘ again. What a stupid movie. If memory serves, only a few – and I literally mean “a few,” three at the max – of the supposed jokes actually made me laugh. Much to my surprise, the new sequel does a lot better, but still not enough for me to recommend it.

‘Grown Ups 2’ isn’t quite a movie. It’s more like a collection of standalone scenes. Each scene’s sole purpose is to show off a different gag or series of jokes. Occasionally, one scene will do something to tie into another, but that’s only to push the movie to an ending and give it somewhat of a climax. Should you choose to call this a plot, it could be described as the following: Nearly a year after moving his family back to his small hometown, Sandler and his buddies plan a last-day-of-school party.

The majority of the ‘Grown Ups’ crew has returned for the sequel. The only noticeable absence is Rob Schneider. Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade make up the primary characters, with Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, Nick Swardson, Steve Buscemi, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Austin and Taylor Lautner in the supporting cast. Cameos include Will Forte, Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island crew, and every friend that Sandler has ever made.

Taking place over just one day, we initially follow Sandler’s character as he assumes the responsibility of his kids’ bus driver when the should-be driver (Nick Swardson) pulls up to their house completely wasted on medication. After dropping the kids off at school, he continues cruising in the bus long enough to pick up all his buddies and go to K-Mart for some unexplained reason (aside from product placement). Once the gang is all together again, Sandler’s home is chosen to be the location for a party. Tons of other random shenanigans take place and the movie ultimately takes us to a major house party that wasn’t planned, yet comes to perfect fruition. The end.

Sandler fans will be glad to see him recovering a little from his recent horrible stint of turds like ‘That’s My Boy’ and ‘Jack and Jill.’ Even non-Sandler fans may be surprised by the laughs that ‘Grown Ups 2’ warrants (mostly from Chris Rock). They’re not consistent, but at least something funny finally happens amidst Sandler’s string on unfunny flicks.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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