Christian Movie Reviews - Family Friendly Entertainment

Nothing Grown Up - or Funny - about Grown Ups 2

Nothing Grown Up - or Funny - about <i>Grown Ups 2</i>

DVD Release Date: November 5, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: July 12, 2013
Rating: PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, language and some male rear nudity
Genre: Comedy
Run Time: 101 minutes
Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek Pinault, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, Nick Swardson, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz

There’s nothing grown up about Grown Ups 2. It's billed as a comedy, but there's nothing funny about it, either. Unless perhaps you’re an adolescent boy whose parents were ill-advised to let you see this string of sex gags and bad attitude masquerading as a major motion picture. As the minutes drag by, one sexual innuendo follows another, occasionally interrupted by reckless stupidity, childish name-calling, and bad behavior by everyone on the screen.

What were they thinking? There are five credited writers, including star Adam Sandler, which is amazing considering there's no story and nothing that resembles a script. What on earth did they do to earn their paychecks, sit around and drink beer all day until they came up with recurring plot points like the "burpsnart" (a simultaneous expression of bodily functions only an adolescent male could love)? 

The basic premise is this: Lenny (Sandler, That's My Boy) has moved his family from Los Angeles to his hometown so his kids can grow up with his friends' kids. Viewers spend the day following Lenny and his buddies around town as they go from one immature stunt to the next. Apparently none of these grown men has any concept of responsibility; they're happy to spend their time goofing off and hiding from their wives, women only slightly more adult than their husbands. Since the town's police force seems only too willing to join in the "fun," there’s no one to tell this bunch of middle-aged losers 'no' except a gang of hostile frat boys.

The friends' escapades range from treating K-Mart like an adult playground to ogling the dance teacher at Lenny's daughter's recital to exchanging insults with the frat boys and jumping naked off a cliff. It’s like they're trying to make Diary of a Wimpy Kid, adult edition—minus any of the charm, heart, or values of that popular series for kids. At their age, these wimpy adults should know better. Meanwhile, their children are busy crashing a college beer bust; at least the high schoolers have the sense to pour out their beer and only pretend to be drunk. The younger offspring are up to charming pranks like defacing school property and pouring gallons of paint on the school principal. All things considered, Lenny's family would have found more wholesome surroundings in Hollywood.

Potty humor rules the day, sometimes literally: there are several pee and poop sight gags. The sexual innuendos and situations are so rampant there's no way to list them all, but a car wash run by cheerleaders had to be one of the most repugnant. The cheerleaders in question—male, mind you—apparently thought washing a car was just a front for a soft porn film audition. They clean the windshield by squirming across it in bulging, wet, white short shorts that leave nothing much to the imagination. One licks the car window suggestively. The man in the car is revolted but his wife practically has her tongue hanging out. Classy it's not, but by this point in the film that's the kind of behavior viewers have learned to expect.

If only there was a likable character, someone the audience could root for... but no. Lenny is such a pitiful excuse of a man even his good intentions don't make up for his lack of inner strength. He does try to man up at the end, but it's too little, too late. Eric (Kevin James, Zookeeper) is a big baby who runs to mommy when his wife doesn't pamper him. Marcus (David Spade, Jack and Jill) is a loser afraid to live up to his responsibilities. Kurt (Chris Rock, I Think I Love My Wife) is so completely forgettable he's impossible to describe. No role models among the leads, while the supporting characters are more caricatures than real people, and offensive ones at that.

My advice: be a grown up and avoid Grown Ups 2.  

CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers):

  • Drugs/Alcohol: School bus driver shown driving while impaired; he references getting “medications” from a doctor he met at a party. He is clearly under the influence of something for the rest of the film. Considerable drinking; high school boys crash a college beer bust. A drunken college girl gives underage boys a beer but they pour it out with one stating he’s “not ready for beer” which makes them the most mature characters in the film. The boys fake being drunk to fit in at the party. Drunk college boys drive up and hand boy in adjacent car a beer; adult in that car later seen drinking it. Home comes equipped with special table to hide alcoholic beverages from wife. Men shown playing drinking games; pregnant woman joins in though we don’t see her drink. Dog drinks beer through tube. A doctor says the cure for anger is “Jack Daniels” and drinks from flask in front of patients. Father tries to give small daughter cough syrup to put her to sleep, but she refuses; another indication the children are more grown up than their parents in this lame excuse for a story.
  • Language/Profanity: Profanity mostly limited to da** and he** but there are numerous reference to genitalia (a**, di**, bal**, pen**, and so on). The tone of most of the dialogue is more disturbing than the actual words used: no one shows any respect for anyone else. Grown men tease another man, not in a friendly way. Bullying, insults, hostile name-calling, and general disregard for others permeate the entire film.
  • Sex/Nudity: Most of the “plot” (such as it is), dialogue, and what must be meant as humorous situations revolve around sex. Multiple sight gags involving urinating and defecating. Married couple shown in bed; mailman comments on woman’s bra and high-fives husband due to its size. Man has child he didn’t know about and isn’t sure at first who the mother is (due to number of former partners). Veiled references (by children!) to masturbation. Man refers to “eating a banana with my butt.” Men fondly refer to “hooking up with chicks” in high school. Woman claims (sarcastically) that her toddler is her lover. Perverted maintenance man crashes exercise class and gets women to jiggle body parts for his pleasure. Many suggestive comments and innuendos. Police officer says dance instructor suggestively crawling on floor during children’s dance recital is “disturbing the peace in my pants.” One character admits to being gay; later a closeted gay man comes out and tries to kiss him but ends up with his tongue in the dog’s mouth instead. Several male backsides shown and multiple men in their underwear. Revealing clothing worn by exercise class, female swimmers, a dance instructor, party-goers, and a bevy of cheerleaders, male and female. Several fights involve close contact with male crotch area. One (naked) man in pond claims another (naked) man jumped on him (from cliff) by complaining “I was inside you.” Intoxicated man strips to boxers in store and climbs into display bed. Unpleasant camera angle of male gym teacher climbing a rope in short shorts shows parts of his nether regions; there’s a reference to his “Easter eggs.” The car wash scene referenced above is downright nasty, with suggestive behavior by both male and female cheerleaders, but mostly male. Some report the male cheerleader’s outfits show glimpses of pubic hair but I confess to having to look away so cannot speak to that. At a party a male wearing nothing but “tighty-whities” (which are neither tight nor white since they bear a disturbing stain) wallows on kitchen counter making eyes at another man. A buck deer pins a man down and chews on stuffed animal held in crotch area. One particularly buff woman is thought by other women to actually be a man; they reference her having male genitalia. There may be more—the sex/nudity issues were virtually nonstop—but those are the highlights, as it were.
  • Violence:  There’s a lot of slapstick-style violence. Large buck deer in house not so much frightening as mildly amusing. Teen boy whips out knife and cuts head off teddy bear. Intoxicated man suspended by ropes in school bus;driver slams on brakes to make him slide down aisle and crash into rear of bus. Boy breaks leg in football accident; another boy later slams that leg (in a cast) down on table. Dad yells at boy threatening to break his other leg. Toddler bites several people. Much bullying by kids and adults alike. Police officer draws weapon on his friends; they later drive down the street with sirens flashing, firing into air. Man in raft on top of bus is hit by a tree and pushed off bus while still in raft. Man throws ice cream scoop across room in a fit of temper, hitting woman and apparently knocking her out. Fraternity house is shown trashed, graffiti and debris scattered around. Frat boys chant “kill, kill” while their leader tries to explain they’re not supposed to kill each other. There’s a huge brawl between several hundred adults and college kids; much punching, kicking (often in groin), etc. Man throws college boy over house; no way to tell what happens to him when he lands. Vomiting, often projectile, throughout film. Most of the people in the film behave in exactly the kinds of ways generally frowned upon by parents, such as: skateboarding across the roof and into the pool; exchanging insults and picking fights; disrespecting everyone in sight; taking unnecessary risks; and acting with no thought for the consequences. 

Publication date: July 15, 2013