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Review: 'Grown Ups 2' a groaner

By Michelle Solomon, Contributing writer
Published On: Jul 12 2013 09:14:41 AM CDT
Grown Ups 2 blurb image

Columbia Pictures

It's good to have friends that will do just about anything for you. Such is Adam Sandler's case since there are more than a few good comedy stars who willingly came out to play for "Grown Ups 2." The summer stinker is so excruciatingly immature that it makes 2010's "Grown Ups" look enticing (and that movie was bad with a capital B).

While "Grown Ups" had its share of groan moments, the sequel has more than enough gross bodily function jokes to last a lifetime. Heck, in this film we even have to endure the bodily functions of a deer.

The movie opens with said deer breaking into the home of Larry Feder (Sandler) and urinating here, there and everywhere. Why? Well, just like everything else in "Grown Ups 2" there really isn't a reason — except for the buck to end up with Salma Hayek's bra hanging from his antlers.

Hayek's buck-bagged bra is only the beginning of the endless stream of cleavage jokes at her expense and an unmerciful fascination with female breasts that chugs throughout film. Pre-pubescent boys will get a few giggles from the barrage of ridiculous jiggles.

The sequel finds Feder, who in the first film was a high-powered Hollywood talent agent, returning to the small New England town where he grew up and reconnecting with his high school buddies. Anyone with any sense knows you can't go back again, but "Grown Ups 2" makes it all seem so cozy. He reunites with old pals played by Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade. Noticeably absent from the first film is Rob Schneider, who is the only smart one in the bunch since he begged out of this one.

But Sandler must have a convincing pitch line since Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Steve Buscemi, Shaquille O'Neal, Jon Lovitz, Cheri Oteri, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Georgia Engel and Taylor Lautner, signed up, too. (Peter Wolf from J Geils Band makes an appearance but he looks like he doesn't even know what film he's in or where he is, for that matter.)

Written by former "Saturday Night Live" writers Tim Herlihy and Fred Wolf plus Sandler, the movie relies on the same long-form skit format a la "SNL," and just like the late-night comedy show that's overstayed its welcome, the skits here run longer than they should, too.

One such skit that looks like it was salvaged from the "SNL" trash bin, features Andy Sandberg and other "SNL" alumni as male cheerleaders who get down while all soaped up at a car wash. It's funny for about the first 10 seconds. Another finds Spade careening down the streets of the town curled up in a giant tire. The comic shelf life for that bit clocks in at less than two seconds. And Cheetos stuck up a sleeping bus driver's nose? A half second.

Perhaps the best joke in the film is a nod to the ridiculousness of Sandler's character being married to someone who looks like Hayek. Perhaps that notion isn't that far fetched in the delusional brain of Happy Madison. After all, Hollywood continues to believe in Sandler even when he keeps churning out lowbrow movies that are obviously an excuse for him to get the gang together while everyone else foots the bill. Next time, maybe Sandler should just take the group camping and spare us all the pain of another one of his childish pranks.