It's like they aren't even trying anymore. The first 'Grown Ups' was a creative failure that somehow became a big box office success. It certainly seemed all involved had said all they had to say the first time around, but Hollywood is all about making money no matter what, so now we have a sequel, and boy is it a mess. The performances are lazy, the script is half baked, and the onscreen charisma never rises above circle smirks. With the exception of maybe one throw away line, there are no laughs in this supposed comedy. 'Grown Ups 2' is hands down one of the worst films in a long time, which is sad, because the folks involved used to show talent.
There was a time when Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Kevin James consistently made us laugh with great comedy performances and fun characters. That time has long since passed. Instead, these actors just seem to count their residuals and coast through their annual paydays. The formula is the same again and again: Travel to a nice destination spot, film a movie with their friends for a month or so, and make jokes that would only be funny to a small child. It's upsetting, and I hope that if these actors decide to do more films together, they can at least take the time to cook up a vehicle with good writing and decent jokes, because that's sure not the case with this horrible sequel.
The first scene foreshadows what's to come in the next 101 minutes: A wild deer enters the house of Lenny (Sandler) and his family while they're sleeping. When Lenny's wife (Salma Hayek) wakes up and sees the deer, she screams, which causes the deer to piss all over Lenny, his family, and other parts of the house, as it leaves a path of destruction as it tries to exit their home. And I guess that is the big joke. All of these actors are pissing in our faces and laughing at us for watching this.
Oh well. Now it seems that the friends, sans Rob Schneider, are back this time around. Nick Swardson seems to fill in for Schneider here in the form of a different character. A little time has passed and the school year is winding down as each friend and their family is planning a fun summer with their kids. However, each guy has a problem. Lenny is dealing with his hot wife wanting to have another baby. Eric (Kevin James) is sneaking away to his mother's house quite often to feel loved, a feeling his wife (Maria Bello) doesn't give him. Then there is Kurt (Chris Rock), who gave his wife a beautiful piece of jewelry for their anniversary, but his wife completely forgot about their anniversary. And of course there is Marcus (Spade), whose teenage son (who resembles Joe Dirt), comes to visit his father, who he has never met or seen. Seems like a perfect setup for a comedy, right? Wrong.
The gang meet a group of frat guys in town, headed up by Taylor Lautner and Milo Ventimiglia, who are the stereotypical douche bag frat guys, who hate everyone, except for their brothers. The two sides pull pranks on each other, until the ultimate showdown takes place at Lenny's large house party, which happens to be 80s themed, which was coincidentally when all of these stars were funniest. The showdown is of course a parody of the 'Twilight' series, which is vomit inducing in and of itself.
I laughed once for two seconds during the runtime at a silly scene, but one of the other things that stood out was Shaquille O'Neal's performance as the local police officer. He has so much charm and comedy in him, that it exudes offscreen and turns out a smile. He never takes the film seriously and has a ball with everyone. And WWE's Stone Cold Steve Austin has a part in the film too as Lenny's high-school bully. More or less, the random cameos are the best parts of the film, and not the perforamnces of the main stars.
There was no reason to make 'Grown Ups 2', and you should think twice about watching it, as you might hate the fact that you just wasted 101 minutes watching the main cast burp, sneeze, and fart for money.
'Grown Ups 2' comes with an amazing 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The first scene with the deer seems a little soft, as it might have been the only part of the film with heavy CG, but after that it's like a whole different movie image wise. The detail is extremely sharp with well-defining closeups that showcase every wrinkle, hair, make up blemish, and costume stitch. The depth is very good too here in the interior and exterior shots.
The colors are well balanced throughout and pop off screen. Black levels always run deep and inky with the flesh tones being natural and smooth. There was no evidence of banding, aliasing, or really any motion blur that I picked up, as well as not compression issues. This is a solid video presentation from Sony, one that looks lively and vivid throughout.
This release has a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix and sounds great. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. There are no pops cracks, or even hissing anywhere in this audio mix. The directionality is quite nice here too. When the deer rampages through the house at the beginning, it sounds like it's actually in your house.
The sound effects pour out of the surrounds often and and sound very natural. The score and music soundtrack all are boastful and add a much needed element to this comedy. The dynamic range is very wide, and even the bass puts out a couple of rumbles. This is a great audio mix that is well balanced, crystal clear, and free of any problems. Solid work here.
'Grown Ups 2' is a terrible film on every levels. It's not funny, interesting, or even mildly amusing. It's just bad - plain and simple. I hope next time around, these guys spend at least an hour on their material, so it could be a little bit better. That being said, the video and audio presentations are top notch here. But the extras are too short and seem very promotional. My advice is skip this one all together.