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Watching Adam Sandler’s sequel to the extremely profitable Grown Ups from 2010 is a 2-hour-long torment. Why wouldn’t it be? After all middle-aged buddies in a small American town are inventing ways to deal with flatulence and are grovelling to a hysterical troop of the town’s young punks. The wives—and most women characters in the film—are grimacing about or sighing over their men, all the while flaunting monstrous cleavages. Their poor children are just griping and bearing it all.

Co-producer, co-writer and lead actor Sandler is by now an industry unto himself. Since the late 1990s, The Wedding Singer star has been churning these dead stories one after the other, culminating in Big Daddy and The Waterboy. In Grown Ups, Sandler played a successful Hollywood executive who leaves it all to live in the town where he grew up after uniting with his school buddies. The story does not go any forward except Lenny (Sandler) has gotten comfortable in this brain-dead world with Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Marcus (David Spade).

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A still from Grown Ups 2

We meet the guys driving around in a school bus, all going for some supermarket antics. Thereafter, Eric is challenged to dive into the town’s swimming pool, and the old boys’ gang have a run-in with the new, hilarious frat boys of the town who browbeat them and threaten to beat them to pulp. All the banality ends with a shrieky 1980s-themed party where guests are dressed as Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Prince and Robert Palmer girls. At this party the old and the new are literally at loggerheads. This sequence looks exactly like a bad 1990s video game.

Sandler has the same old trick of whimpers and yowls. The wives, played by Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph, have no real roles, so they are just around, sashaying and squealing for no justifiable cause.

Every other dialogue has sexist and racist jokes. This film exists as Sandler’s another jab at box-office success—which has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of writing or performance. There’s a lot of comic acting talent here—it’s a pity that an actor like Steve Buscemi is so terribly wasted—but director Dennis Dugan gets nothing out of them.

Grown Ups 2 released in theatres on Friday

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