Some of you may have vague memories of 2010’s “Grown Ups,” an unfunny, plotless, tedious mess that featured a collection of has-beens (Adam Sandler, David Spade, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and Rob Schneider). The film was a complete disaster on just about every front. Three years later we are now faced with “Grown Ups 2,” a sequel that no one asked for, and surprise, surprise, not much has changed. We find that Lenny (Sandler), Kurt (Rock), and Eric (James) have pretty much settled into their family lives. The inseparable friends now have kids of their own, even Marcus (Spade), who discovers early on that he has a son through a one night stand. Given that the sequel is just about as plotless as the first film, there’s not much more to say in terms of a synopsis.
Sandler and his co-writers desperately try to fill the time with one random scene after another: Lenny’s wife (Salma Hayek) is thinking of having another baby, Kurt’s wife (Maya Rudolph) forgets their anniversary, Eric spends a lot of time with his mother watching soap operas, Marcus tries to connect with his brute of a son, and so on and so forth, but just like last time, none of it ever ends up coming together, making for another tedious outing that wanders on and on aimlessly.
As far as the “comedy” goes, “Grown Ups 2” sets the bar on the ground and then somehow manages to go under it from its very opening scene. Once you see the badly-rendered CGI deer peeing in Sandler’s face, you know exactly what kind of movie you’re getting. From there, it’s pretty much a string of never-ending scatological jokes, including an immensely tiresome running gag about burping, sneezing, and farting at the same time. All of this lowbrow humor once again just makes me wonder when Sandler and his crew will grow up themselves.
In an effort to cover up the directionless nature of the story, the filmmakers have squeezed a number of cameos into the film. Basically these are people who had absolutely nothing better to do with their time, including Shaquille O’Neill, Steve Buscemi, Taylor Lautner, Tim Meadows, Steve Austin, Jon Lovitz, Andy Samberg, Will Forte, and several others. Some of them must’ve been extremely desperate for work to take on a project that basically amounts to embarrassing themselves on screen.
The film once again reunites Sandler with his long-time partner in crime, director Dennis Dugan, who has been responsible for some of the worst films made in the past ten years, including “Jack and Jill,” “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.” Like Sandler, when you see his name anywhere on a film, the best thing to do is to turn around and walk away as quickly as possible. “Grown Ups 2” takes its rightful place in the same pantheon of terrible films, becoming just another one to avoid like your life depended on it.
“Grown Ups 2” comes to Blu-ray in a 1.85:1, 1080p High Definition transfer that couldn’t be better. It’s been mastered in 4k for optimum quality, and it shows in the crisp, clean picture. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is also of great quality, with the score, dialogue, and sound effects coming through perfectly, so there’s little chance of you missing a single burp, sneeze, or fart.
Deleted Scenes: A quick mish-mash of scenes that only proves that the film could have been longer. It only becomes more frustrating when you realize that they could have kept trimming away without it affecting anything in the film.
Shaq and Dante: Police Force: One of several pointless featurettes. This one focuses on Shaq and Peter Dante as they try to be funny without much success.
Look Who Stopped By: A brief look at the multiple cameos in the film. Another one that’s not really worth the time, unless you really, really want to know who you might have missed.
The Feder House: A very brief look at the set for the party finale. This is about as far into behind the scenes territory as these extras get. Unfortunately, they don’t tell you much about it other than why they built it and how long it took.
Mr. Spade’s Wild Ride: Another short featurette, this time focusing on David Spade as he performs a stunt that has him rolling around in a giant tire. Again, not much to see here.
When the nicest thing you can say about a release is that the video and audio quality are great, you know there’s something wrong. The film is a total mess and the special features aren’t even worth the few brief minutes it takes to watch them. Could the cast not even be bothered to sit down and record a commentary track? Even a technical track with Dugan would have been something. This release just reeks of laziness through and through. Oh, but it does look and sound nice.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD starting tomorrow.
Recent Blu-ray/DVD releases: The Way, Way Back, Only God Forgives, Drug War, A Hijacking, American Horror Story: Asylum, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Curse of Chucky, Fantastic Voyage, The Croods, This is the End, Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition
Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.
This review is based on a copy of the Blu-ray received for reviewing purposes.