The “Grown Ups” are back in action just in time for summer fun. The all-star cast of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello and Nick Swardson all return to the sequel along with new additions to the cast, including NBA legend and correspondent Shaquille O’Neal. Surprisingly, the only star missing is Sandler’s usual sidekick, Rob Schneider.
In the film, Hollywood casting agent Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) moves his family back to his small hometown to be closer to his childhood friends and so their kids can grow up together. As the last day of school ends and the summer begins, the “Grown Ups” deal with comical occurrences such as a deer invasions, frat boys, delusional ex-girlfriends and run-ins with old and new bullies. The sequel stands alone from the first “Grown Ups” movie, so there is no need for a refresher of the original plot unless you want to familiarize yourself with the original characters.
True to form of Adam Sandler comedies such as “Happy Gilmore,” “The Waterboy” and “Big Daddy,” the sequel aims to produce laughs from dirty and half-witted jokes. The jokes are at least as low-brow as the jokes in the first movie, and the humor comes from unexpected props and one-liners. The middle-aged “Grown Ups” this time around seem more immature than their own kids, as they are trying to prove to themselves that they are still “fun.” They learn lessons from their kids in this sequel and take a trip down memory lane, realizing how much has changed since their childhood.
Critics have given negative reviews about the feel-good comedy since its release last Friday. The Huffington Post listed some of the most critical comments in a July 12 article by Christopher Rosen. Meanwhile, websites like Rotten Tomatoes reflect just the opposite; according to the website, 90 percent of the audience liked the movie, compared to just 6 percent of critics. Despite the less than favorable reviews by some critics, the movie provides more than enough comical moments from the comedian heavyweight cast.
Overall, I give “Grown Ups 2” 3.5 out of 5 stars. The movie is worth seeing for the good comic relief with a summertime theme, but not if you’re looking for intellectual stimulus. With that said, if you were not a fan of the first “Grown Ups,” there is a good chance you may not like it a second time around.
Ambrosia Franklin is a graduate student in journalism and mass communications. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.