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Wednesday 15 August 2018

Predictable formula still raises laughs

Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider in the one movie? It should have us gagging, not laughing, but somehow Grown Ups works well.

It's no classic, but kids of a certain age (as well as dads who haven't quite grown up) should love it.

It opens with a young schoolboy basketball team winning a major championship final, under the watchful eye of their coach and mentor. Fast forward three decades and the coach is dead -- and the team reunite.

Sandler plays Lenny Feder, a Hollwyood agent whose kids are spoiled Beverly Hills brats.

Chris Rock as Kurt McKenzie is the emasculated stay-at-home dad, Rob Schneider plays Rob Hilliard, a New Age guru, with a much older, and highly sexed, wife.

David Spade is Marcus Higgins, the lazy womaniser, while Kevin James does well as Eric Lamonsoff, the token fat guy whose wife loves to breastfeed their son, a kid who's well beyond the bottle stage and should be onto solids.

To celebrate their coach's life, they relive their youth at a beautiful lake house, with predictable mad results. Not much happens, but there's a lot of buddy bonding, swimming trunks falling off at water parks, and a farting granny showing off her awful bunions.

Some of it's a bit OTT, and luckily the jokes will go over kids' heads, but there's a likeabililty about the nostalgia, and its heart is in the right place. The only jarring point is the constant reference by the guys to each other's weight issues, which doesn't ring true (okay, maybe in California). But with Steve Buscemi and Salma Hayek also putting in appearances, there's a bit of class about this comedy which is not your typical straight-to-video nonsense.

And, incredibly, Rob Schneider (for once) doesn't make you want to put your fist through the flatscreen. Now that's a result.

DVD extras: Includes a fair few deleted scenes, a half-decent gag reel, and several making-of featurettes.

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