REVIEW: GROWN UPS 2
SYNOPSIS: The all-star comedy cast from Grown Ups returns (with some exciting new additions) for more summertime laughs. After moving his family back to his hometown to be with his friends and their kids, Lenny (Adam Sandler) finds out that between old bullies, new bullies, schizo bus drivers, drunk cops on skis, and 400 costumed party crashers, sometimes crazy follows you.
REVIEW: When it’s done right, it is called “improvisation,” a term that suggests a certain comedic creativity, a certain wit, a certain professional pride and desire for excellence. Well, in any case, that’s the way it feels in Adam Sandler’s latest follow up to his “Bosom-buddies” original flick, Grown Ups (2010). It seems to fall more into the category of “making it up as you go along,” than an actual scripted screenplay; which in this case works out quite well, for the group. The lineup of talented moronic fellows and a mash-up of cute and plain-funny females, could not work out any other way in my opinion. Somehow, it feels like the crazy comedians’ goal is to reunite alumni from "Saturday Night Live" and bring back memories of the likes of Melanie Hutsell, Tim Meadows, Ellen Cleghorne (believe it or not), and Colin Quinn. Jon Lovett is also in the house with a part that could only be described as “Perv-Lunatic.” For those whom aren’t in the know, these are comedians that did fairly decent on "SNL" and then ran off and made somewhat of a career and is now quite often appearing in many of Sandler’s efforts. Hence, Grown Ups 2, I suspect is a deliberate tactic to surround the leads (Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and David Spade) with as many familiar faces as possible to help bring out the funny, in a manner which I can only describe as lots of seemingly improvised situational comedy. In any case I think this makes the main guys seem funnier, as a group than they actually are, when left up to their own devices.
On the other hand, one fortunate aspect about this latest release's concept of male friendships and marriage life is that it’s less reliant on insults and abuse than its predecessor, and doesn't seem to need to paint married men as being in pure misery, without their compatriots. It, by all accounts, makes a decent effort to highlight the more sensitive and caring side of the married man and the need to incorporate genuine male bonding and the occasional adolescent behavior side of life at times. The perception I have of this movie is that it bore a little resemblance to the recent Hollywood release called Project X (2012). I would even go as far as to say it could be a mixture of Project X meets Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s, This is the End, (2013). Both of which I thought were decent flicks for the demographic they appealed to.
That being said, I have to give Sandler credit for sliding teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner (Twilight series) in to the mix as the bad boy preppie frat boy. I think he made quite a splash with this role and showed off his dynamic acting/action style. He brought a touch of Capoeira (Brazilian Fight/Dance style), to the role that wasn’t only funny, but also very impressive. And last, but certainly not least, we have the always sexy Selma Hayek whom we can always expect to bring out the sexy and funny eye-candy role.
Overall this, by no means, is Sandler’s best work to date; however, I would go as far as to say that he’s actually improving with time. Moreover, I think many would agree that this latest release is even funnier than part one. It deserves three and a half stars out of five for a illustrating a bit more creativity and bringing the laugh out loud moments.
By Movi-Man Stan
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