Adam Sandler pats his own back for being loyal in Grown Ups 2, an excuse for the star to hang out with his friends while he plays a Hollywood bigwig who’s celebrated for moving back home so he can hang out with his friends.
Like its 2010 predecessor, Dennis Dugan’s comedy has no real plot to speak of, instead pretending to care about schlubs played by Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade dealing with adult issues—Sandler is unprepared for wife Salma Hayek’s pregnancy; Spade meets the son he never knew; Rock frets over his daughter dating—while really focusing on a series of random goofing-off incidents involving ogling sexy dance teachers, getting peed on by angry deer, and discharging “burp snarts” (a burp-sneeze-fart combo).
Endless cameos from Sandler pals and cursory conflict with local frat boys pad out the proceedings before the finale’s de rigueur ’80s-themed costume-party climax. A few decent one-liners notwithstanding, the movie comes off as willfully uninspired, to the point that Sandler joking about the only-in-the-movies implausibility of his character being married to out-of-his-league Hayek comes off not as clever self-consciousness, but as an admission that he’s too lazy to even pretend this is something other than self-congratulatory fantasy.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 11, 2013