'Grown Ups 2' is juvenile -- and not in a good way

The Fresno BeeJuly 10, 2013 

From left, Kevin James, David Spade, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock reprise their roles as childhood friends who come together in "Grown Ups 2."

FROM LEFT, KEVIN JAMES, DAVID SPADE, ADAM SANDLER AND CHRIS ROCK REPRISE THEIR ROLES AS CHILDHOOD FRIENDS WHO COME TOGETHER IN "GROWN UPS 2." COLUMBIA PICTURES — From left, Kevin James, David Spade, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock reprise their roles as childhood friends who come together in "Grown Ups 2." COLUMBIA PICTURES

"Grown Ups 2" — the latest regurgitation of old jokes, sight gags and bathroom humor from Adam Sandler — looks like it was put together from suggestion box ideas supplied by third graders high on Yoo-hoo.

What little structure there is to this sequel to the 2010 offering only serves to loosely tie together bad material about a group of buddies who spend the day together and top off the evening with a party. Sandler's partners in comedy crime include David Spade, Chris Rock and Kevin James.

Suggestion one: Make jokes about going potty. Such humor's plentiful, from a rampaging deer who defends itself by urinating in people's faces to a man walking around in nothing but pee-stained underwear. Those are classics with the playground set.

Suggestion two: Tell jokes that are either stupid or dated. While a police officer watches a pretty ballet dancer on stage, he quips, "I want to arrest her for disturbing the peace — in my pants." Later, there's a joke about how badly Shaquille O'Neal shot free throws when in the NBA. One of those jokes stinks, the other's lame.

Suggestion three: Make sure everyone gets to be in the movie. It doesn't matter that a scene in an exercise class is more offensive than funny. Its only purpose is to give Jon Lovitz work. The same goes for a car wash scene full of "SNL" cast members or a soap opera sequence that proves that as far as comedy goes, Chris Berman is a great sportscaster.

Most of the movie is Sandler and company having great fun riding around town stopping long enough to make another attempt to be funny in a scene that has nothing to do with what came before.

Comedy works best when there's a constant stream of good material that has some degree of consistency. This movie starts at a juvenile level and regresses from there.

"Grown Ups 2" should have been a fun summer comedy about longtime friends reflecting on how times have changed. Instead, it will just make you nostalgic for much funnier films — and most films are much funnier.

  Movie review

"Grown Ups 2," rated PG-13 for brief nudity, crude humor. Stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade. Directed by Dennis Dugan. Running time: 1 hour, 41 minutes.Grade: D-
Theaters and times

 

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee. com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter.

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