[rating=3]Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, David Spade, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, Nick Swardson and a whole lot of others
Writer(s): Fred Wolf & Adam Sandler & Tim Herlihy (based on characters created by Sandler and Herlihy)
Director(s): Dennis Dugan
Welcome to the latest meeting of the SNL alumni and the Adam Sandler acting company (some of the players are members of both groups). This time the setting for their gathering is a sequel to one of Sandler’s earlier films. That’s a first for Sandler, a sequel to one of his films.
Grown Ups 2 takes the four close friends from the original (Rob Schneider does not return for the sequel) and moves them back home. “Lenny” (Sandler), his wife “Roxie” (Hayek) and their kids now live in a big house, while his friends “Kurt” (Rock), “Eric” (James) and “Higgy” (Spade) all seem happy but each has his own unique problems. Kurt is married to “Deanne” (Rudolph) and she is good friends with Roxie and “Sally” (Bello), Eric’s wife.
Lenny is not working as the film opens, while Kurt is a cable installer who has an amazingly light workload. Eric owns an auto body/repair shop but seems to be spending all of his free time doing everything but working on cars. Higgy is a womanizer who doesn’t believe in relationships, but he’s definitely down with sex. Then stuff starts happening on the last day of school.
Lenny’s oldest kid is being picked on by a bully at school. That’s déjà vu for Lenny as he had his own tormentor when he was young, “Dennis” (Steve Austin). Somehow he’s going to have to teach his son to stand up for himself, something he never did himself.
Roxie owns a boutique and her one employee is head over heels in love with her husband, because of one “date” they had back in sixth grade. Eric is keeping a secret from his wife. Kurt just scored a major “get out of jail free” card over his wife because he remembered and she forgot their anniversary. Higgy’s just learned he has a son and the kid is arriving that morning. Then there’s the problems they have with a local college frat after an incident on “frat territory”. There are life lessons ahead for all of them.
This is more of the typical fare one can depend on to be present in any film that Adam Sandler is doing anything other than just acting in. The same old actors in similar roles, the same type of urine and vomit humor, with sexual innuendo and undertones. If you didn’t know that going in, shame on you.
The thing is, I laughed. A lot. Some of it made me groan but there were many moments of hilarity. It isn’t brilliant, cutting edge writing or directing but it is just over 100 minutes of fairly frequent funniness.
Rated – Rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, language and some male rear nudity
Running time – One hour and forty-one minutes.