Yes, Grown Ups 2 is every bit as awful as you thought it was going to be and then some. I have officially lost hope in Adam Sandler as an actor/comedian. This movie is flat-out bad. It’s hideously bad. This movie may be the most “empty” one I’ve ever seen, similar to my experience with Jack and Jill (but not as bad). The story is nonexistent. I am not exaggerating when I say for the entire run time, the four friends hang out together in their hometown doing obnoxiously stupid things and telling awful jokes that aren’t funny whatsoever. They’re pretty dumb. It’s jokes you heard 10 or 15 years ago that no one ever thought was funny. Grown Ups was bad enough, but no…they had to make a sequel. How infuriating and senseless. Does Adam Sandler have a brain tumor? Maybe he fell and hit his head? Does he need a psychologist? These are all viable questions after watching the atrocity that is Grown Ups 2.
It’s hard to put into words just how lifeless and empty this movie is. Every one of these guys are funny, but I don’t know what happened to them. Money talks I guess. Sell-outs. The script is absolutely horrendous and the so is the acting by everyone that isn’t one of the main four cast members. However, I will say Shaq holds his own when he’s on screen. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Shaq is the funniest part of the movie. I know, sad. The film actually tries to be emotional near the end. Can you believe that? The audacity! After making us sit through countless putrid jokes, a deer peeing on people, men slobbering over a ballet teacher and a bunch of extremely annoying frat boy preps doing stupid handshakes. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this point. The finale is just as corny and lame as the rest of the movie. Really? Adam Sandler vs Stone Cold Steve Austin? Four friends and their “town” vs the frat boys? Painfully bad! Please don’t watch this movie. Please. Please! Now you know the misery I experienced watching this load of elephant feces.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is based on the 1939 short story of the same name. It’s a (get ready) romantic-adventure-fantasy-comedy-drama. That isn’t a joke either. The story goes like this: Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a negative assets manager who works for TIME magazine. A new hot shot jerk, Tim Hendricks (Adam Scott), along with his associates join the company as the new bosses. They claim everything will now be electronic and that the very last print TIME magazine will be published soon. In the process, longtime employees of TIME are being cut, including Walter and some of his friends. Walter is put in charge of getting the negative for the final print issue from photojournalist Sean O’ Connell (Sean Penn). Walter must set out on a journey to find him and retrieve the negative, but only does so after a push from his love interest and coworker, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). Walter’s journey throughout places such as Iceland and Greenland make for an interesting and beautiful one.
Walter Mitty’s story is no doubt an inspiring one. You’ll be left with much to ponder and an almost guaranteed smile. Somehow you can relate to Mitty, an average guy, tired of of his average life and his average world. He finds inspiration from unexpected places that cause him to break free, go on a wild and often dangerous quest to broaden the horizons of his mind and achieve the “meaning of life”. Ben Stiller’s directing is rock solid and his ambition knows no bounds. He makes a daring leap of faith with Walter Mitty and it mostly pays off.
The movie is utterly simple, yet offers a fresh premise that is diverse and attention-grabbing. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is incredibly entertaining and it has a tendency to be smile-inducing. It’s definitely out to make people feel-good, but it is genuine in its efforts. It’s not fake or insincere whatsoever. Ben Stiller’s vision is captured both in the sociological atmosphere and the glorious, mountainous backdrops. The love story within the film between Stiller and Wiig is adorable as the two share an unusually strong chemistry. The connection between Mitty and nature is just as strong. The glorious cinematography captures this along with the sheer beauty of the countrysides. The music is one of the film’s most impressive qualities, especially the few tracks by Jose Gonzales and Junip. Each song evokes emotion and relates directly to the movie. The soundtrack is definitely an impressive one, filled with a collection of indie tunes.
The characters Mitty meets along the way are interesting and very human. One in particular is an employee at eHarmony played by Patton Oswalt. The two speak over the phone at first but eventually meet in what becomes an unlikely friendship between the two. The movie’s sociological awareness is simply a joy. Relationships between characters is something this movie does very well, even if they aren’t well developed. You just get the sense it’s all meant to be. Even though the film is aimed to be serious, there are several comedic moments thrown in that are downright silly. Overall, it all works together well and creates a great experience, regardless of genre.
The cinematography in the film is breathtaking and each locale has character. The acting and directing are impressive, overall. The story is well thought out. It’s main goal is to inspire and encourage people to take a leap of faith, try something new, be brave. I am happy to say that its point gets across, both vividly and magically. I firmly believe Stiller is getting close to Oscar territory, especially if he keeps this up. He has created something wonderful in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Sure, it’s not a gutwrenching drama, it’s not always serious and doesn’t quite offer Oscar-worthy performances, but it resides in the realm of something truly special. In the end, it’s final message will leave you feeling inspired and enlightened, something a lot of movies cannot do effectively.