Thursday, February 27, 2014

Grown Ups 2

I thought that the first movie Grown Ups was fairly entertaining, at about a 4 start rate.  With the track record of the majority of sequels in Hollywood these days I didn't haev overly high hopes for the second one.  It was definitely worth watching though.  The first half had a lot more humor as the second half held a lot more serious life issues.  I always prefer Adam Sandler with humor (unless weare talking about Click or Spanglish with both were great).

Grown Ups 2 is considered a Buddy comedy.  You can tell that the cast has a great time making the film.  As will any Happy Madison production (Adam Sandler's company) you can expect some raunchy humor.  The first joke really opens up with deer pee spraying all over....  and then it does improve for a bit in humor as I myself do not find that overly hilarious especially for how long they drag the set out for.  Unfortunately we had to miss out on Rob Schneider's character due to scheduling conflicts, making this one of a very few Sandler movies to not feature at least a cameo by Rob.  It did not do very well critically and was nominated for 9 Raspberry awards which to include Worst Movie of the year.   The original Grown Ups was focused on friend recounting their school basketball championship, while this one is based largely around Lenny (Sandler's character) having moved back to his hometown and just the every day life antics and marital/parental themes that they encounter.  All with the Sandler twist to life of course.

Grown Ups 2 was filmed in Massachusetts (masquerading as Connecticut for the film) and contained a ton of cameo roles as is tradition for a Sandler production.  This is surprisingly the first sequel that Adam Sandler has ever been in.  Rotten Tomatoes scored this film with an abysmal 7% approval rating.  I can't say that it was the greatest movie I ever saw, but what did you expect from a Sandler film?  It wasn't THAT bad.  There were a plethora of bad reviews by people who looked at this movie en masse.  But those who understood a Sandler movie and his sense of humor and what he has been working with for decades they knew what to expect and knew that there is always low brow and crude humor with family values rounding it all out.  Sandler movies are as in a genre of their own, kind of like you haev to look at Quintin Tarantino movies separately from others. The move still grossed $247 million worldwide (about 30 million less than the original Grown Ups). It opened in the number 2 spot behind Despicable Me 2. 

The film definitely features an all-star cast looking to be funny in the classic Adam Sandler style:
Lenny Feder played by Adam Sandler (SNL, Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore, 50 First Dates, Spanglish)
Eric Lamensoff played by Kevin James (King of Queens, Hitch, Everybody Loves Raymond)
Kurt McKenzie played by Chris Rock (SNL, In Living Color, Down to Earth, Bad Company)
Marcus Higgins played by David Spade (Just Shoot Me, Tommy Boy, 8 Simple Rules, SNL)
Roxanne (Lenny's wife) played by Salma Hayek (Frida, Desperado, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, Bandidas)
Deanne (Kurts wife) played by Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Chicago Hope, Idiocracy, SNL)
Sally (Eric's wife) played by Maria Bello (History of Violence, Coyote Ugly, ER, Payback)
You will also find cameos from Nick Swardson, Steve Buscemi, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, Steve Austin, Shaquille O'neal, Taylor Lautner, Andy Samberg, etc.

Overall I give this movie 3.5 stars.  It is a classic Sandler film, not his greatest but not his worst and as with any of his films, you can find enjoyment in the fact that you know that everyone on set is having a good time.  I did wish that we got to see more of the hilarious kids as we did in the first installment but this one seemed more focused on the adults.  It was worth a watch to be entertained, but not something that you would watch a bunch of times.  It tried to mix the crude humor with a more mature look at life and it didn't mix as well because the crude seemed a bit far fetched for the now older age of the actors and the mature was more mature and enlightening than usual which made the difference stand out starkly.  Still if you are a Sandler fan you won't be disappointed.  There is also some buzz about a third one in the works for a possible 2015 release. 

Here is the official site for the movie: Grown Ups 2

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