Farts. Barfs. Burps. Boob and dick jokes. It’s all here, in Grown Ups 2, the latest example of Adam Sandler’s inability to grasp that he’s approaching 50—and maybe his audience is, too.
That said, I found Grown Ups 2 vastly funnier than its insipid, equally immature predecessor. This time around, Sandler’s Lenny, having hit it big in Hollywood, has transplanted his wife (Salma Hayek, as if) and kids, as well as his childhood buddies Eric (Kevin James), Marcus (David Spade) and Kurt (Chris Rock), back to their Massachusetts hometown. It’s the last day of school, the kids are psyched to just hang out—and the dads are, well, still focusing on their lost youth and imagined glory. In one of the movie’s funnier sequences, the “grown-ups” are confronted by snot-nosed frat boys (led by a very amusing Taylor Lautner), whose “booyah” affectations are worthy of a YouTube snippet of their own.
The narrative is ramshackle, with entire plot lines and characters just dropping out of sight. Indeed, the movie seems designed to prop up its climactic scene, a mashup between the old timers and the frat boys at a 1980s themed party that, in itself, is outrageous fun. (Larry Bird! Flava Flav! Boy George! Pat Benatar!) It’s weirdly cathartic—at least for someone pushing 50. Oh, wait, didn’t I start this review with a knock on Adam Sandler for a failure to move on? Hmm. Blame the summer heat, or a lack of a social life, but Grown Ups 2 is a silly, mindless good time.