The first Grown Ups hit theaters some three years ago, and as is the trend is in Hollywood, sequels have become something of an inevitability. Some sequels can stand up on their own merits, while others do absolutely nothing to progress a franchise, but rather bring about negative stigma to it’s name. In the genre of comedy, more times than not, sequels have a seemingly more daunting task ahead of them than action movie sequels, in that they need to “bring the funny” in a way that is at least on par with the first or previous entry in the series. With that said, where does Grown Ups 2 fall on the spectrum..?
Grown Ups 2 is directed by Dennis Dugan, and it follows the lives of Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler), Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James), Kurt Mckenzie (Chris Rock), and Higgy Higgins (David Spade). Not to mention the there are the wives in the whole equation, consisting of: Roxie Chase-Feder (Salma Hayek), Sally Lamonsoff (Maria Bello), and Deanne Mckenzie (Maya Rudolph). To those who are paying attention, one would notice that the cast member that is missing in action here is none other than Rob Schneider. As far as could be told, no mention or reference is made to his character in the movie, but it does not bog things down, as there are plenty of cast members involved to pick up the slack as it seems (more on that later).
It seems something of three years has passed since the events of the first Grown Ups. In the sequel, all of the kids of said “grown ups” are having their last day of school for the year, which serves to be a kicking off of summer. We’ve all been kids awaiting that last day of school with constant plotting of all of the fun things you’ll set out to do in the limited duration of freedom. And of course, the kids can not be the ones having all of the fun. The fellas decide that they should throw a party, which is something akin to the way that they used to party back in the days of adolescence and or young adulthood. As you might expect, some funny antics ensue before the main event goes down as planned.
A lot of the humor stems from the combination of physical comedy (which is shared pretty evenly among the cast), and quips between other characters. In most movies that Sandler is involved in, there is usually some degree of toilet humor, which is seldom subtle, and falls on the hit or miss scale, the latter more so since it is expected. I particularly found the barrage of jokes thrown at the expense of Malcolm (Tim Meadows) to be very funny. Another character worth noting is the one portrayed by Taylor Lautner. Lautner’s character portrayed the ringleader of a fraternity, whose sole purpose was to antagonize the likes of Lenny, Eric, Kurt, And Higgy. As you might be thinking, this frat (also including Patrick Schwarzenegger, David Hernie, and Milo Ventimiglia of Heroes fame) is something of a legendary group of douchebags. The competition spurred between the generations of males brings about a good amount of laughs somewhere in the middle and towards the end of the movie. There is also Nick Hilliard (Nick Swardson) as the bus driver that the kids had the misfortune of having, Officer Fluzoo (Shaquille O’Neal) who probably should not be representing the law, a long time bully of Sandler’s character (played by none other than Stone Cold…. I mean Steve Austin) and a not-so-friendly ice-cream vendor played by Chris Hardwick. Was it not mentioned before that there are a ton of cast members?
As for the rest of the cast members which include the children, consisting of Greg Feder (Jake Goldberg), Keithie Feder (Cameron Bryce), and Becky Feder (Alexys Nycole Sanchez) of the Feder family. Of the Lamonsoff kids: Donna, (Ada-Nicole Sanger), and Bean (Frank Gingerich). Lastly, there are the McKenzie children: Andre (Nadji Jeter), and Charlotte (China Anne McClain). They all served their purpose in the film, but it could not be stated that any of them stole the show from the, well, grown ups as they are an ensemble of comedic actors.
In conclusion, Grown Ups 2, could be argued to be at least as funny as the first Grown Ups, if not more funny than it’s predecessor. With the physical humor, one-liners, and odd situations, there are plenty of instances in which the movie does what it sets out to do and that is to make you laugh at the ridiculousness of the characters’ choices. Take some friends and have a good time.
I give Grown Ups 2 a B.