Remember when Adam Sandler made good movies? OK, maybe Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison were “good” mostly because I saw them in sixth grade, but still, at least they entertained somebody. Oh, how things have changed. This weekend sees the unfortunate release of Grown Ups 2 (aka the sequel that no one on planet Earth asked for), which reunites Sandler with fellow face-palming comedians David Spade, Kevin James, and Chris Rock (man, I never wanted to say that about Chris Rock) for what is bound to be among the worst movies of 2013.
My question is, how is it going to stack up against the other crappy movies the cast has done over the years? In order to get an answer, let’s break down what the trailer tells us about the movie and give each of the four main offenders what for.
One of the first things you see in the Grown Ups 2 trailer is a deer peeing on Adam Sandler’s face while he’s lying in bed with his wife. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Ben, are you sure you’re not mistaking this for Citizen Kane?” Believe it or not, I’m sure. Anywho, if that’s the first thing Sandler and the rest of the marketing team want audiences to know about their movie, then we’re clearly off to a wonderful start.
We can only go up from here, right? Wrong.
Proving to the world once again that there are things Shaq is worse at than shooting free throws, The Big Aristotle shows up as a cop and former classmate of our “heroes” and makes a reference that shows the screenwriters’ knowledge of music ended in the late ‘90s. And then we finally get to what I’m sure everyone involved imagines is the highlight of the film – four grown men being forced by a group of Taylor Lauttner-led frat boys to jump off a high rock naked. Needless to say, it’s not exactly breaking comedic ground here.
Now I’ve got a couple of things to say to those involved with this project:
David Spade, I expected more – wait, no I didn’t. This is exactly what I expected from you. You haven’t done anything even remotely funny in live action since Chris Farley died, and those weren’t funny ‘cuz of you my friend. And yes, I did specify live action, because credit where credit’s due, The Emperor’s New Groove was kind of endearing. Moving along.
Kevin James, you really should have just hung it up after King of Queens ended. Dude, you had a sitcom on television for nine seasons. Your totally unremarkable show lasted longer than The Sopranos, The Wire, and a metric ton of other more deserving television. You should’ve taken that as a sign that you had peaked as a comedic talent instead of trying to parlay having a CBS sitcom (seriously, CBS comedies never get canceled) into a movie career. Now I have to live in a world where The Zookeeper is a thing, so really it’s no surprise that you’re involved in this travesty.
Chris Rock. Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris. It’s time for an intervention. What are you doing, man? You’re too good for this! Even if you’re buddies with Sandler and Spade from your SNL days, you’re way above this garbage. Your stand-up is some of the best, edgiest stuff this side of George Carlin and Richard Pryor! Never Scared, The Chris Rock Show – that stuff was amazing! I know your film career hasn’t been all that great outside of stand-up specials, but you really didn’t have to resort to this. Grown Ups 2 is so far beneath you, and I think you may need to pick new friends – they’re really dragging you down.
And now we come to you, Mr. Sandler. The architect behind this madness.
There is no doubt that you have been an influential comedian in your day – I look fondly on your musical skits from SNL in the early ‘90s, and I really did like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore when I was in middle school. Plus, you’ve even done some real, actual acting on occasion in things like Punch-Drunk Love (remember, you even got a Golden Globe nom for that one!) and Funny People.
But it seems like you’re working really hard to make everyone forget that you have talent. I mean, was Jack and Jill really a necessary addition to your resume?
What bolt of creative lightning could possibly have hit you so hard that you forgot that Eddie Murphy officially and forever killed the “male comedian in drag” sub-genre? Or maybe those few performances where you did things with sincerity were just mistakes. Perhaps we’ll never see that Adam Sandler again. What’s that? Your next movie is another romantic comedy with Drew Barrymore? Yep, that guy’s definitely gone.