- Entertainment and Media
Grown Ups 2 Didn't Grow Up
Think of a story that you would never turn into a movie because it lacks real meaning or has nothing effective that would interest the audience. Now sprinkle bits of comedy into it. This is what Dennis Dugan, a true genius in making abominable films and the director of the comedy movie Grown Ups 2, has done. The main problem with this movie arises from the lack of an actual story with an interesting point or occasion to show the audience. The faulty screenwriters, Fred Wolf, Adam Sandler, and Tim Herlihy, have done a crummy job with the script of the film. It was almost as if the whole film was written to accommodate a couple comedy bits that are scattered throughout the film. Paying the ticket price for this film is more like donating money so the makers of the movie can get a couple extra bucks in their bank account rather than getting entertained. Of course, this is a comedy, but it should at least have a proper story that’s worth telling the audience, so they do not arrive in the movie theater and sit thirty minutes through the movie only to realize that it is a complete waste of money.
The movie starts off with a deer running through the house of Lenny Feder, played by Adam Sandler. After an infuriating chase around the house, Lenny rids his mansion of the annoying deer by baiting it with his daughter’s doll. Followed by a family conversation about the deer, the kids head out to wait for the bus to finish last day of school. When the bus arrives, Lenny finds out that the schizophrenic bus driver Nick, played by Nick Swardson, is having a rough day and cannot seem to get a hold of himself. After seeing this, Lenny drives the bus himself and continues to pick up the rest of the children, some of which are his friends’. His friends, Eric, Kurt, and Marcus, played by Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade, respectively, get on the bus as well, and this is where the meat of the movie kicks off.
After dropping all the kids off at school, they take the school bus and go to the local department store. Yeah, the school bus. They meet some more old friends there, and the next ten minutes are a comedic sequence in which disgusting comedy is employed. For example, one of Lenny’s best friends, Eric, does a burp-snart, a series of events where he first burps, then sneezes, and finally farts. This is the main joke that is prolonged throughout the movie, with Lenny and all of his friends trying to learn how to do a proper burp-snart. I understand that it is a little impressive, but these men are fathers. How long does it take for them to grow up?
The rest of the story is also just a series of events portrayed only for the purpose of comedy and nothing else. For example, at one point, they go to a privately owned old cliff that drops into a lake, and try to force Eric to jump off of it since he never did it in his childhood, unlike the rest of them. While disputing about this, they encounter a group of college fraternity boys and get into an intense verbal argument with unnecessary crude language. In the end, the frat boys make them all jump off the cliff while being nude. This is very unnecessary because the older kids of Lenny and his friends, are at a party on the other side of the cliff, and when they jump, their kids see their dads. Do the screenwriters have to go so far that their own kids see them naked? Thank god they didn’t actually show that. I would have thrown up so bad Mr. Clean’s magic eraser wouldn’t have been able to clean up the aftermath.
Then, completely randomly, the story introduces a new character: Marcus’s son that he didn’t know about. The son, Braden, played by Alexander Ludwig, finds out that the fraternity boys abused his dad and vandalizes their fraternity house.
Later, Lenny comes home to help his wife set up a party that they were throwing for all their old friends. At his party, he encounters an old bully that used to beat him up a lot during his old school days. The bully and Lenny agree that Lenny would prove once in for all to all his friends and his son, who was facing a similar bullying problem in school, that Lenny could take on the bully and show his son how to stand up to one. After this fake fight, the frat boys, who now think that Lenny and his friends vandalized their fraternity house, come to the party to fight. The end of the movie is a fight between the adults and the fraternity boys.
The number one flaw in the film is its storyline. Sorry, I meant the storyline that it doesn’t have. So in that case, I mean it would have been better if it actually had a storyline. How do you make a movie without a storyline? Ask the screenwriters. The whole movie was basically the daily lives of these people with nothing else except a little comedy here and there, most of which was crude and inappropriate. The comedy did not need to go so far that the children had to see their dad’s nude. Neither did it need to include the burp-snart. Do fathers as old as them even think it’s funny? Even I, a fifteen year old, think it’s disgusting, and that’s saying something. How do you even come up with that?
The second biggest flaw is that the star cast for the movie was not worth the acting that they did. They could have hired actors with half as much talent as the cast, and they still would have provided the same effect that these actors showed. All they did was say a couple funny lines and speak casually for the rest of the movie. This affected the budget of the film too, for there weren’t any huge costs into the making and setting of the film. The only reason it ended up costing eighty million dollars to make it was because of the star cast, which included Adam Sandler.
Also, some parts of the “storyline” do not even make sense. Going into the department store at the beginning of the movie had nothing to do with the rest of the story. They did nothing there other than fool around and try to have fun. What group of fathers goes around to a department store on a working day just to fool around? They literally go inside, crack a couple jokes, meet a couple old friends who have no relevance throughout the rest of the movie, and come back outside, to find comedic police officers asking if there was a party that night at Lenny’s house. This again is truly the screenwriters’ fault. If I had a choice between watching this movie or watching a chess game between a llama and a donkey, I’d choose the latter. If I had a choice between watching this movie or Miley Cyrus, I’d choose the latter. The audience wants to be entertained; it doesn’t want to sit through a hundred and one minutes of torture.
Also, at another point in the movie, why would a police officer laugh at a guy in a huge tire rolling across the town wrecking it, instead of sending him to jail? The professionalism of the cop is questioned perfectly by Lenny when he says, “How could you become a cop after all that crap we did growing up?” To this, the officer responds, “Put your hands in the air. [he begins to dance and sing] Then wave’em like you just don’t care. Say ho!” I understand that this was intended to be comedic, but it should at least be a little reasonable. I would rather watch Roger Ebert’s colonoscopy with him.
Fourth and foremost, at the end of the movie, why does Lenny beat up the bully? Isn’t that what the bully did to him? I don’t think parents want their children following that kind of example. And if the fight at the end was not framed to begin with, I think Lenny would have had a terrifying day and would have set an even worse example. Since when do victims go around beating up bullies? Are they even capable of doing that if they are the victims? This again comes down the screenwriters. How could they even write a script so horrendous? It’s as if they were drunk while writing this. “Oh dude, I think it would be cool if the law enforcement was stupid. And the main character. And the rest of the characters. And the whole movie itself.” I honestly cannot think of a worse example to set for a child who is facing bullying. What does Lenny expect his son to do next; go to school and beat up his bully?
Overall, this movie is trash. There are some parts of the movie that I can safely talk about and help the audience understand why they are trash. For example, Eric and his wife go through a carwash where gay men are washing cars. Eric, along with the audience wonders, “Why is this never ending.” Then there are other parts of the movie that I can talk about, but don’t understand myself. Cough. The storyline. For the star cast that the movie had, and the budget that was given to film the movie, I think that this movie could have been a lot better. Especially with the talent that they have on set and considering the other great movies that Dugan has filmed, such as Happy Gilmore and The Howling. However for this particular movie, if you have anything else on your schedule, try to elongate it for as long as you can so you can miss this movie.