Billy Appleton here! And no, contrary to popular belief, I have not hung myself from the shower curtain rod, the ceiling fan, or the tree in my neighbor's front yard. I missed last weekend because there was actually a great movie playing. Rather than write about it, I decided to go see it for myself. Toy Story 3 definitely did not suck! And it only took seven weeks to finally arrive at this hoped-for juncture. Though, Jonah Hex's suckitude eclipsed any good will Pixar might have brought to this lackluster bummer of a summer. We're talking a stink bomb of Howard the Duck-sized magnitude. Though without any hint of the cult repercussions that might make someone want to look at it in the future as a coy, funny artifact of 2010's dismal output.
Speaking of dismal output, this eighth summer weekend continues to chug up shit mountain as it doots out two more horrible stretches of celluloid on our sweaty faces. First up is the miserable Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups, which is followed closely on the hills by Tom Cruise's generic action yarn Knight and Day. Yawn. Just because the guy dances up a storm at the MTV Movie Awards doesn't mean his latest harbinger of bore is going to be any good for the masses. But don't take my word for it. I'm just speculating on what I've seen in the trailers and on the Internet. Oh, and my own dislike for pretty much every single one of Adam Sandler's abysmal, humorless attempts at breaking the box office piggy bank. His comedies are critically derided at every turn, yet this king of stupid knows how to turn a mean profit. And do you really like Tom Cruise now? Or are you just enjoying his publicist's attempts at making us forget that he's a crazy-insane Scientologist from the planet Teegeeack?
As I do every week, I have gone in search of my movie-going wisdom by hitting up all of my favorite critical hubs to hear what they have to say about this week's torrid poo-flurry of flickering light. Does Grown Ups indeed suck? Let's find out, shall we? (And remember, you can read the full reviews by click on the links provided}:
" It's been a long time since I saw a movie as lazy as (this). This film has only the suggestion of a script. Douchebags. Rather than offer actual punch lines, the film seems to consist of ad-lib wisecracks and insults. There is very little that the five sluggish comics do that's actually funny. This is why Generation X is doomed. (This) is a scam on the audience - a paid vacation for its stars masquerading as a movie that people will actually pay to watch."
Orlando Sentinel's Roger Moore:
"A generous helping of peeing in the pool, skid mark, fart, pedophilia and breast feeding jokes. a big crowd of slapstick-happy actors playing things as broadly as possible, slinging insults. Many generic situations. And the usual dollop of Sandler sentiment smothers many laughs as we see parents wanting their indulged, over-stimulated kids to put down the DS-3 and experience a "normal" childhood. The movie's eye-rolling moments outnumber its laughs."
The Village Voice's Nick Pinkerton:
"The men are either unfunny or useless. (The) comic timing here is a snap-snap-let's-go rush to the next "outrageous" moment: potentially fatal pratfalls, repeated public urination, crotch hits, gushers of breast milk, Grandmama's infected big toe, Coach's ashes blown over a prominently displayed bucket of KFC Grilled Chicken. Lazy stuff. A gridlock of gags and plotlines, with conflicts and assigned traits dropped and hastily retrieved as needed."
" The movie isn't just unbearably smug, it's also incredibly lazy, dispensing entirely with plot and assuming that the five lead actors riffing off one another will be enough for 90 minutes of entertainment. That would have been a tough sell even back in the 90s. But now it's basically intolerable. Whatever jokes aren't utterly predictable or unfunny to begin with are ruined by flatfooted direction. And the film's hard right turn into plot and emotional lessons in the last 10 minutes merely highlights what a waste of time everything that came before it has been. No one is spared from the movie's idiocy. You may be astonished at how much dumber the movie can get, or how many times it repeats the same fat joke expecting another laugh."
Slant Magazine's Nick Schager:
"Adam Sandler spends more time laughing at jokes than making them. The slackest, shabbiest comedy in the star's increasingly dreadful oeuvre. A tale about zero, zilch, and not a single freaking thing. There's no story to speak of. There's nothing to the slipshod proceedings but tossed-off wisecracks that seem to have been made up on the spot. A-list masturbation. So flimsy that it even fails to develop the maturation-of-the-man-child dynamic suggested by its title."
"Dead in the water. A juvenile comedy in search of a consistent tone, which it never finds. There's no sense of discrimination. How did they entice so many fine women with such a woman-hating script?"
"A ridiculously cumbersome ensemble cast leaves little room for any of them to really stand out. It's hard not to feel they're just hacking it out at this point. With a minimal story, it really just feels like they're making it up as they go along. The women aren't given much to do. (It's) fodder for adolescent boys and pea brains. You've sat through so much garbage, there's very little any sort of feel-good ending can do to save it. A movie that's too much of a muddled mess to be enjoyed."
Urban Cinefile's Louise Keller:
"Did you hear about the person who slipped on the banana skin? Well, in this case, it's more about did you see who was slapped by the dehydrated banana. Bad taste, cheap laughs, puerile humor and slapstick. Everything is offensive. (The film) lacks finesse. Dennis Dugan never manages to set the tone on any level that is credible. Yes, the film's a turkey."
There you have it. The critics don't lie. Adam Sandler's latest comedy Grown Ups is the epitome of suck.