Grown Ups 2

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Three years after the events of the first film, Lenny Feder has relocated his family back to his Connecticut hometown where he and his friends grew up.

In the film’s opening in the Feder household, Lenny wakes up to find a wild deer standing next to his bed. Upon waking up, his wife Roxanne startles the deer, causing it to urinate all over their home. Eventually, Lenny is able to get the deer out of the house just in time to take his children Greg, Keith, and Becky to their last day of school. Roxanne brings up the idea of their family having another baby, but Lenny says their family is perfect as is, upsetting Roxanne.

At the Lamonsoff household, Eric Lamonsoff and his wife Sally are at odds with each other over how to raise their children- Sally believes in unwavering support while Eric prefers to be more practical with them. At the McKenzie household, Kurt surprises his wife Deanne with a thoughtful anniversary present, only to find that she has completely forgotten. Meanwhile, Marcus Higgins is waiting at a train station after receiving a letter from an old girlfriend, who tells him that he has a seventeen-year-old son Braden. Marcus is stunned to see a tattooed, six-foot-tall boy, who turns out to be Braden. Marcus tries to be nice and takes him to school, but Braden shows an immediate dislike toward him.

After dropping off their kids, Lenny, Eric, Kurt, and Marcus spend the day roaming around town, reminiscing about the amazing summers they used to have when they were kids and Lenny’s childhood bully, Tommy Cavanaugh. Lenny argues that he could take Tommy as a kid and he can still take him. Eventually, the friends go to see Becky’s ballet recital, where Lenny runs into Tommy, whom Lenny is visibly terrified of. Tommy threatens that if Lenny ever lies again about being able to beat him up, he’ll publicly beat Lenny up.

Once the kids are out of school, Lenny, Eric, Kurt, and Marcus decide to visit the old quarry, where they used to swim as kids. There they run into a bunch of partying frat boys who force them to jump into the quarry naked. Braden who was partying with the frat boys, witnesses this and goes off to vandalize their frat house. When the frat boys return, they swear to take revenge.

Lenny arrives home to help Roxanne set up for a 1980s-themed party for their friends. Meanwhile, Marcus begins to bond with Braden, who realizes he was wrong about his father. As all of their friends begin to arrive, Roxanne urges Lenny to consider having another baby. Lenny continues to protest the idea and is left dumbfounded when Roxanne reveals that she is pregnant. Lenny, feeling overwhelmed by this discovery, goes off to drink with his friends. The Feder’s party goes well most of the night until Tommy Cavanaugh shows up and disrespects Lenny in front of everyone, so Lenny challenges Tommy to a fight. In a surprising turn, Tommy decides to take a dive so that Lenny can look tough for his kids, and the two develop a mutual respect. Soon after, the angry frat boys arrive at the house looking for retribution for the damage to their frat house. They go on to insult the local town residents, inciting a fight. The locals hold their own against the frat boys and eventually send them running away defeated.

After all the commotion dies down, the four friends have pancakes at Eric’s mom’s house. Mrs. Lamonsoff reassures Lenny that a new baby is a wonderful thing and eventually he will never be able to imagine life with just three kids. Lenny has a change of heart and returns home, telling Roxanne he is sorry and excited about the new baby, and they reconcile

REVIEW:

I think I was one of the handful of people who actually liked Grown Ups. Even so, I wasn’t clamoring for a sequel. Nonetheless, the gang got back together and we have Grown Ups 2, but do we really need it?

What is this about?

After moving his family back to his hometown, Hollywood talent agent Lenny Feder and his grown-up childhood friends learn lessons from their kids — and some of the locals — on the last day of school.

What did I like?

Shaq. Say what you will about Shaquille O’Neal, he knows how to have fun with his image. Comedic roles like this are the kind of things he should be taking, rather than the serious stuff like he started with in Blue Chips or the failed superhero experiment, Steel, and let’s not bring up some of his other failed films. Here, Shaq is a big cop and, despite his size, he appears to be just one of the guys. I have to mention that when he first appears, I couldn’t help but think of Hightower from the Police Academy movies.

Wives. I think I mentioned this in the last film, but I’m going to say it again. How in the bloody blue hell can these schlubs end up with these super hot wives?!? If ever there was proof that Sandler’s films were nothing more than his fantasies, this is it. Hey, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dreamed of waking up next to Salma Hayek.

Buck. We open the film with a deer in the house. Apparently, I missed the memo where you must have an animal in your opening scene, because this is the second film that does so. The other being The Hangover part III. Now, the insanity that ensued with this buck was actually quite funny, even the pissing, but what really made this something worth mentioning is that it wasn’t a forgotten device. They brought it back in the end (still wearing Salma Hayek’s bra on its antlers), which made it make sense and not a one-off something or other.

What didn’t I like?

Ad-lib. The previous film felt like it had a plot. This one seems like it was just Adam Sandler wanting to get together with his friends and make a movie. I have no problem with that. I even sort of liked that it felt natural and not scripted. However, all the subplots that were going on and the drastic shift in production value, for lack of a better term, from the first film made this film not work as anything more than just a series of vignettes, none of which ended up being funny. No wonder Rob Schneider didn’t come back.

Humpty dance. What in the world was going on with the Fluzoo’s and their noses. Not Shaq and Tim Meadows, mind you, but rather Ellen Cleghorne and the son. If you can remember back in the day, there was this rapper known as Humpty Hump who had this plastic nose he would wear. Maybe it was just the way they were lighted, but they both seemed to have Humpty’s nose, and I don’t really know why, unless it was supposed to be for comedic effect, which fell flat.

Tropes. I’m a fan of Adam Sandler’s movies, but he really needs to step out of his comfort zone, because these things are just getting predictable now. For instance, you know he’s going to have the usual supporting cast, at least 2 or 3 of his buddies from Saturday Night Live, a couple of super hot chicks, one of which he is married to, gay and fart jokes, something to do with his being Jewish, and the 80s. A few films escape this formula, The Waterboy, for instance, but most of them use the same thing, and it is starting to wear thin on even me.

I find it ironic that this film is called Grown Ups 2, when they aren’t really acting like grown ups. They were more grown up the first time around. I was expecting to love this film as much, if not more than the first, but instead, Sandler pulls this crap out of his ass. There are a few redeeming qualities for this film, but this is one of those flicks that is best watched at a party with lots, and I do mean LOTS, of alcohol!

2 3/4 out of 5 stars

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