Movie review: ‘Grown Ups 2’ is awful
Published: July 12, 2013 03:05PM
Updated: July 12, 2013 03:05PM
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This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Kevin James, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock in a scene from "Grown Ups 2." (AP Photo/Sony - Columbia Pictures, Tracy Bennett)

There are 162 million reasons for “Grown Ups 2” to have been made — that’s how many dollars the first “Grown Ups” took in back in 2010. But there’s no earthly reason for it to be made so awful.

This time, Hollywood agent Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) and his fashion-designer wife, Roxanne (Salma Hayek), have relocated their family to Lenny’s New England hometown. There, Lenny mostly hangs out with pals Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Higgins (David Spade). Rob Schneider skipped this time and got the better end of the deal. Each has a subplot: Higgins meets the son (“The Hunger Games’ ” Alexander Ludwig) he didn’t know he had, Lenny confronts his childhood bully (wrestler Steve Austin), Eric deals with mommy issues and the guys get razzed by some frat boys (led by Taylor Lautner).

But Sandler and his writing partners jump from one crude gag to the next without a trace of a plot or narrative sense. This would be OK if any of the jokes were remotely funny, but they’re mostly retreads of the bad jokes from the first movie.

For example, this time Shaquille O’Neal commits the peeing-in-the-pool joke — and when a former NBA star is the funniest thing you can throw on screen alongside a urinating elk and 15 current and former “Saturday Night Live” cast members, your comedy has some major problems.

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zero stars

‘Grown Ups 2’

Opens today at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, language and some male rear nudity; 102 minutes.