More sun­screen than script

GROWN UPS 1/2

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

Star­ring Adam San­dler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello. Writ­ten by Adam San­dler and Fred Wolf, di­rected by Den­nis Du­gan. 102 min­utes, rated PG (course lan­guage). Show­ing at Read­ing Cine­mas Porirua. You know how Sly Stallone put all those ac­tion he­roes into the same movie? Adam San­dler’s done it with com­edy stars – I like to call them The Exc­reta­bles.

Call me a masochist, but I keep fronting up to San­dler movies hop­ing he will make me laugh as hard and as of­ten as he did in Billy Madi­son and Happy Gilmore.

Wake up Matthew, those movies were 15 years ago and their only con­nec­tion to the San­dler of to­day is the Happy Madi­son Pro­duc­tions brand­ing that pre­cedes the lame-ar­sed serv­ings of fam­ily-minded schmaltz he’s pimp­ing him­self out ever since.

Grown Ups is about five child­hood friends – San­dler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider – who bring their fam­i­lies to­gether for a week­end at a lake­side homestead af­ter the death of their old bas­ket­ball coach.

Be­yond hit-and-miss one-lin­ers and put-downs that oc­ca­sion­ally reg­is­ter a zing, there’s zilch go­ing on here. Slap­stick sce­nar­ios – rope-swing ac­ci­dents, archery haz­ards, wa­ter park mis­chief – and sex jokes too crass for kids, yet too meek to ap­peal to their par­ents, strug­gle

been to con­ceal the fact there is barely the bones of a story.

The guys hang out, make jokes about each oth­ers’ wives and kids, face down some old school­yard foes in a bas­ket­ball game, and that’s about it.

The film’s ti­tle and The Big Chill-style set-up would sug­gest some level of midlife re­flec­tion, re­gret or ob­ser­va­tion. Un­less it in­volves poo, farts or im­pale­ment, it doesn’t hap­pen.

This is San­dler at his least in­ven­tive, and Rock – who is fast go­ing the way of Ed­die Mur­phy – at his most neutered and un­der-used.

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