It’s been universally agreed upon by critics and most people with sanity and/or common sense that Grown Ups 2, the sequel to the barely watchable first film by Adam Sandler and whatever director he’s currently bribing, is one of the worst films of 2013. This is not a surprising fact, because most movies Adam Sandler has made over the years have been pretty damn awful. Whether it’s comedy or drama, his post 1990s movies have been almost universally reviled. But somehow, this godawful sequel somehow beat Pacific Rim, the only hope of original science fiction movies everywhere.
Pacific Rim, according to critics, wasn’t nearly as good as people thought it was going to be. It currently sits on a decent 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But even so, it was by all accounts a decent and original sci-fi movie. As we all know, this is something that we desperately need. Without films like Pacific Rim, as underwhelming as it apparently is, we’re going to get more crap like The Lone Ranger (another disclaimer: I didn’t see that one either).
What doesn’t make sense here is how a movie everyone has universally hated somehow made more money than a decent science fiction film that most people liked. You’d think that a movie about giant battles between mechs and monsters (I’m not calling them Jaegers or Kaijus) would be a more popular sell to the crucial kids-teens-young adults market than a lame brained comedy about middle aged guys farting. And let’s face it, who here still likes Adam Sandler or Kevin James or Chris Rock or David Spade? Anyone who isn’t completely brain dead? The complete bombing of That’s My Boy, a Sandler comedy glorifying child rape and incest, was a sign of hope that Sandler and his crew of idiots had finally been buried, never to return. That we would no longer have to suffer, year after year, of Sandler making a lazy comedy that no one with any kind of rationality would watch. And while I’m sure that Grown Ups 2 is better than That’s My Boy and cross-dressing flick Jack And Jill by miles, that’s still not enough. Not enough to beat a movie by Del Toro. And I’m not even a fan of the Pan’s Labyrinth director!
Another disclaimer: I was unfortunate enough to have actually seen That’s My Boy. If you enjoy teenage boys being raped on camera and a sex scene involving two characters that are brother and sister, I’d recommend this one. If you don’t like either one of these things, don’t watch it. It’s cinematic trash. I’m really ashamed that Adam Sandler is Jewish, because he’s making my people look bad.
The one silver lining here is that Grown Ups 2 hasn’t made enough money as of right now to warrant a third entry. And I really don’t think it will. Maybe the corporate executives will get the hint and retire Happy Gilmore forever. Maybe we’ll get some new comedians, ones who can actually make people laugh. I heard This Is The End is pretty good. And there’s a new Edgar Wright movie coming out next month! And that guy’s never made a bad movie!
Ladies and gentlemen, much like you, I’m deeply heartbroken by this state of affairs. Pacific Rim wasn’t the monster movie we wanted, but it was the monster movie we deserved. Simply by existing, it was better than most other tentpole summer movies. It was probably better than Man Of Steel (but not Iron Man 3). Del Toro may not be a perfect director, but right now he’s all we got in the war against crappy sequels. At least the man’s willing to do something different, which is more than what we can ask from a bunch of cookie cutter directors throwing the same gritty crap at us over and over (*cough hack wheeze* Zack Snyder!). The battle will be long and difficult, but one day we’ll get the quality entertainment that the world needs. We’ll get superhero movies made by people who actually like the character, and not take away his underwear and make him a clone of Batman. We’ll get science fiction films that respect its audience, and actually make its money back. The night is darkest before the dawn, and I’m stealing another Christopher Nolan quote.
While a lot of this is me subtly complaining about how very disappointed I was in the new Superman movie, we really do have a problem here. Until we get to the days where the Adam Sandlers and Zack Snyders of the world are no more, where people treat their movie watching experience as just that and not a casual spending of ten bucks, we’re gonna be stuck in this rut. I think it’s probably up to us to make sure a disaster of this proportion never happens again.