Grown Ups 2 is an enigma of terrible filmmaking. When characters in fiction utter the phrase, “what could possibly go wrong?”, that “what” is Grown Ups 2, as everything that could’ve possibly gone wrong on the set did. It is as formless as the most influential avant garde films, yet as low-brow and immature as the typical middle school locker room.
The film has virtually no plot. Everything happens in this universe in moments. I can only assume that as a scene was being filmed, Adam Sandler and his band of thieves got bored and decided to move on to the most rock bottom humor they can imagine. The results are a failure, to say the absolute least. Nothing says “midlife crisis” like not-so-subtle poop humor involving chocolate ice cream, or a running gag of burping, sneezing, and farting at the same time. The transphobia, ableism, homophobia, and racism still run freely, as expected. The son of a black man is a gross caricature of a stereotype; the obnoxious, rampant, black youth who freestyles and yells with incredible exaggeration.
All characters themselves are gross caricatures, as a matter of fact. Every man exists to enforce male stereotypes, while every woman exists to reinforce those male stereotypes. They are attractive, skinny, and with highly developed assets, and if they don’t fit into this mold, they are either psychotic or transgender. And you can guarantee that the world created in Grown Ups 2 is not accepting of transgendered folk (a ‘chick with a dick’ running gag rears its ugly head).
It would be pointless to point out every politically incorrect and edgy joke in this movie, as near every joke in this movie is politically incorrect or edgy in some way. But I would like to point out one scene involving a car wash. In this scene, the wife of one of the main characters takes him to a car wash in order to prove that their love for each other isn’t swayed by sexual fantasies. Expecting to endure a wash from scantily-clad college women, he is instead treated to scantily-clad college men. Matt Achity best described this scene as a scene that could’ve been a scathing satire on the film industry, and society in general; with how women are portrayed by society and all of the insane things women are expected to do, but it quickly devolves into a gay panic joke. Scenes like these are truly the trough of the comedy world, with Adam Sandler claiming it as his own.
Now to explain why I find this movie to be so bizarre; it’s hypnotizing. It’s scattered plot, dying and reincarnating jokes. The word to best describe this movie, aside from abominable, is “formless.” This movie is absolutely incorporeal. It doesn’t seem like it exists. I truly cannot do this movie justice with describe how much of a mystery it is. Grown Ups 2 is an enigma of filmmaking. It seems to disappear, reappear, then disappear. It’s a vicious cycle of amorphous plot and elementary school humor. In some eyes, it is an experimental film masterpiece. An art piece about the destruction of common sense. It makes you think that maybe, just maybe, Grown Ups 2 doesn’t insult the intelligence of anyone over the age of 4.
But no, this movie fucking sucks.