It's summer time and that means there are certain things you can count on. Baseball, Barbecues, and an Adam Sandler comedy movie. He is back with his friends Chris Rock, David Spade, and Kevin James for the follow up to the surprise hit from the summer of 2010.
Despite the movie following much of the typical Sandler movie formula of the last 20 years...this sequel is definitely an improved and funnier version of it's predecessor. Grown Ups 2 is much edgier and adult oriented than the first. The emphasis in this film is where it belongs which is adult, slapstick entertainment for those of us over age twelve.
The movie picks up with the starring Feder family now living full time at Main character Lenny's (Sandler) hometown. With the help of his friends, Lenny stands up to an assortment of bullies and nemesis from past and present. In addition, the childhood friends deal with different family challenges. As always, it's safe to bet on a happy ending.
Do not go watch this movie expecting the proverbial wheel to be reinvented on this sequel. Like all Happy Madison productions Grown Ups 2 follows the same formula you have probably seen a million times. Many of the typical bizarre guest stars are back for this one. Steve Buschemi, Tim Meadows, Nick Swardson, and Peter Dante have guest roles that are very similar to previous Sandler-film roles of years past. In typical fashion: Sandler is the hero, Chris Rock does black jokes, Kevin James is the stereotypical fat guy, and David Spade is the butt of many jokes. Again, originality is not where this movie shines.
With that said, there are still some original pieces to Grown Ups 2 that make it a better, more entertaining sequel. Shaquille O'neal, Taylor Lautner, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin are fresh faces that add new life to the sequel with their over the top performances. This second installment also achieved greater results with a "less is more" approach. That is "less" of the kids doing cute things and "more" of the main stars interacting as friends instead of as a small part of multiple families.
Grown Ups 2 gets an adult sized 7.5 out of 10 rating here. It's not a trail blazing type of flick but for the film franchise as a whole it is an improvement over the original. Sometimes a back to basics approach is what is needed in this time of reboots and remakes.