Comedies in the post- “Superbad” age amuse many and leave others cringing. When Adam Sandler brought the first “Grown Ups” to the screen, a middle ground was found. In the sequel, Sandler and his crew try to replicate that success.
Following the original film, Lenny has moved his family back to his hometown, in order to be closer to friends and family. An unpleasant encounter with a visiting deer kicks off the movie of hijinks for Lenny and his friends Eric, Kurt and Marcus, that takes place in a single day. Rescuing Nick from his own follies, the gang cruises around town in a school bus, encountering past friends and enemies, as well as new ones, all the while seemingly planning an end of school party.
Seemingly being the key word.
While funny, the movie lacks any cohesive plotline. Between jumping off cliffs and facing down hyped up frat boys, the movie seems to be pieced together, with the goal of reaching the end of the day, not so much the party for the community.
Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade return, with the absence of Rob Schneider covered up by Nick Swardson, written in when Schneider committed himself to the short-lived CBS sitcom “Rob.” Nick proves to be more butt of the joke, as he stumbles around in the wake of the boys.
Taylor Lautner and Shaquille O’Neal both have spots in this madhouse, Shaq as the childish local police officer Fluzoo, and Lautner as the back flipping leader of the frat posse. Both of these prove to be pieces of gold in the mess of this movie, as does the appearance of nearly every member of the Saturday Night Live male roster, from Bobby Moynihan to the Lonely Island, frolicking as a group of male cheerleaders hosting a carwash.
The most important part of this movie is how clean it is, despite its crudity. Focusing more on sight-gags and fart humor, it makes it the first comedy movie parents can take their kids too without the unnecessary exposure to frequent nudity and drug use for the sake of advancing a joke. I was able to walk out of this movie with the knowledge that I laughed so hard I teared up when the men jump off the cliff, and that if I could heartily recommend this movie to everyone looking for a chuckle.
While the movie lacks any real story, choosing to ditch the emotional side story that was the backbone of the last story and instead injecting a humorous fight for territory with the fraternity, it is just plain funny. I give this movie a C, for it really has nothing working for it except the laughs it can give. It is, in its purest form, a summer movie. Its dumb, it has gross humor and its nothing memorable.
Which is perfect for a hot summer day.