Grown Ups 2 review

There's a scene about halfway through Grown Ups 2 where Sandler tells his buddies: "We're irrelevant. We're useless. We're old." Judging by his recent output, Sandler could well be talking about his Hollywood career

Sandler has become greedy and lazy (hey, maybe he can get Bruce Willis to join Grown Ups 3). He was once a pretty funny guy. He used to be on Saturday Night Live. He's done some pretty funny films in his day, films such as  Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy and 50 First Dates. He also proved to be a pretty decent dramatic actor in Punch Drunk Love. But now the absolute stinkers are coming faster than the fart gags.

And there are plenty of fart gags in Grown Ups 2. Lots of burping, and pooing, and puking, and peeing, too. In fact, the film opens with a deer wandering into Sandler's house and peeing in his face as he lays in his bed. I kid you not, he gets peed on. By a deer. And the film goes downhill from there.

Grown Ups 2 doesn't really have a plot as such. It's just Lenny (Sandler) and his buddies – Eric (James), Kurt (Rock) and Higgy (Spade) – hanging out and goofing around. They do stuff with their wives (Sandler is married to Salma Hayek ... how in hell did that happen?) and kids, but mainly, they do stuff with each other. Which usually involves burping or farting or puking or the damaging of testicles.

The nicest thing one can say about Grown Ups 2 is that it's an equal opportunities offender. It's offensive to men. It's offensive to women. It's offensive to children. It's offensive to gay people. It's offensive to college students. It's offensive to fat people (when did James get so big?) It's offensive to police. And it's offensive to black people. As Rock says at one point: "I can't believe nobody's scared of a black guy no more. Damn you, Obama." The film climaxes with a massive costume party that celebrates the 1980s. A five-year-old boy is dressed up as child molester Michael Jackson, which is probably the most offensive moment in the film – even the scene of a man dressed as Boy George making out with a dog is less offensive.

Nobody comes out of Grown Ups 2 looking good. We''ve come to expect this level of bad from Sandler. But what are decent actors such as Hayek, Bello, Rudolph and Buscemi doing here? Are they that hard up for jobs? If the film has a message, it seems to be that men never grow up. And they are all total dicks. I fear for humanity.

Grown Ups 2

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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