Australian Council on Children and the Media

Grown Ups 2

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Not suitable under 13; PG to 15 (Adult themes, violence, crude humour and coarse language).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Grown Ups 2
  • a review of Grown Ups 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 October 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to adult themes, violence, crude humour and coarse language
Children 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes, violence, crude humour and coarse language
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Grown Ups 2
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild crude humour, violence, sexual references, nudity and coarse language
Length 101 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

It is the last day of the school year, and Lenny Fader (Adam Sandler), his wife Roxanne (Salma Hayek) and their three children have returned to live in the New England home town where Lenny grew up. Lenny has moved back to be reunited with the close friends he grew up with, Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chis Rock) and Marcus (David Spade), and to enable his children to experience the same healthy lifestyle he had growing up. 

Unfortunately times have changed and life for Lenny is not going to be as easy going as he pictured it to be. The local swimming hole where Lenny and his friends had been swimming since they were eight-years old has now been taken over by college frat boys. Lenny’s teenage nemesis is back in town and determined not to let Lenny forget who the top dog is and Lenny’s children have trouble fitting in with the new school scene. Lenny’s friends also have their own problems. Marcus finds himself landed with a psychotic teenage son he didn’t know he had, Eric finds it more rewarding watching Days of Our Lives with his mother than spending time with his wife Sally (Maria Bello), and  Kurt has a number of issues with his own family.

A day in Lenny’s life becomes even more complicated when a schizophrenic bus driver, a lunatic drunken policemen, a psychotic ex-girlfriend from Lenny’s elementary school days and several dozen crazed collage frat boys, out for Lenny’s blood, enter the picture. Lenny’s friends feel that an 80’s themed party, hosted at Lenny’s house, is just what is needed to put things back into perspective. Lenny and his friends soon learn however, that the craziness that occurred during the day is just a precursor for the craziness that is about to occur as Lenny’s party gets underway.                     

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family relationships; sexual relationships including homosexuality and transsexual behaviour; mental illness.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Grown Ups 2 contains some school-yard and adult bullying, occasional teen aggression and the depiction of slapstick styled violence scattered throughout. All violence depicted is void of any blood and gore, or real-life consequences. Examples include:

  • An oversized teen boy, covered in tattoos, pulls out a knife and uses it in an intimidating manner. He slashes the head off of a teddy bear and says that he wants to ‘smash his father’s face in’.
  • Later we see his father looking at a large hunting knife in a shop and he says that he wants his son to think that he will cut his son’s head off, so that his son won’t cut his head off.   
  • A large student verbally intimidates a smaller male student and then grabs him by the throat. Later on he knocks books out of the same student’s hands.
  • A school teacher throws a basketball at a student with enough force to knock the student from the bench he was sitting on.
  • Lenny recounts how he was bullied as a teenager. In a later scene we hear the now middle age perpetrator of the bullying say how he used to ‘smack Lenny around whenever he wanted to and that Lenny did nothing about it’.
  • Four grown men are confronted and intimidated by a large gang of drunken male college students, who force them to jump naked from a high cliff top into a quarry filled with water with one of the men landing on top of another man.
  • An unconscious school bus driver is tied upside down by his ankles to the ceiling of the school bus. Later, the same man, still unconscious, falls from the ceiling and slides down the aisle of the school bus as it accelerates with the man hitting his head hard on the back of the bus.
  • A man sitting inside a truck tyre rolls down a busy city street narrowly missing on-coming traffic. He’s chased by a police car with police officers firing their handguns into the air. He finally crashes into a police car and a policeman.
  • A large gang of college students (male and female) gate crash a party and attack the guests resulting in a massive all out brawl with lots of punches and kicks in a stylised fashion.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  •  A young girl (six years old) becomes distressed when her favourite soft toy is destroyed by a rampaging reindeer.
  • In a couple of scenes a father shouts at his young daughter (six-years of age).  

 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group could also be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the bullying shown.

Product placement

  • Jack Daniels
  • American brand name labels.

Sexual references

There are many sexual references throughout this movie, including:

  • A man refers to a previous sexual partner only as “Hiccup McGee” because the woman suffered from severe bouts of hiccups during sexual activity.
  • Covert reference is made to a man’s teenage son masturbating in the shower.
  • In jest, a toddler’s mother refers to her son as being her lover and says that he’s very gentle.
  • A policeman watching a female dance instructor at a young children’s dance recital perform erotic dance movements, says that she was “disturbing the peace in his pants”.
  • On several occasions throughout the film reference is made to a man having sexual relations with a transvestite.    
  • A woman, while talking to her husband, makes reference to hormonal changes in her body and going through menopause, but then tells her husband that she is pregnant. 
  • An elderly woman tells her middle aged son that she and his father had sex in a toilet at a football game.
  • After a husband entices his pregnant wife to have sex with him we hear him say to the woman’s stomach “Watch your head in there”.
  • A man pretending to be a gym instructor, instructs a class of mainly middle aged women to turn around, bend over and slap their own buttocks while he goggles their buttocks.
  • The women make lurid sexual comments towards the younger man with one woman asking if she could ‘stick her tongue down the man’s throat’. The man responds that he is gay.
  • A man licks his transvestite partner’s bicep and they hug. The transvestite makes mention of having a penis.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Several girls and women are shown wearing very skimpy, provocative clothing and are treated as sex objects.
  • Four men are shown from behind, jumping naked into a water filled quarry.
  • A man is shown at a party, lying on a kitchen counter in his underwear. He realises that he is gay and makes advances to another man. He thinks he is tongue kissing this man but he opens his eyes to find it’s a dog.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Reference to the use of  pharmaceuticals to ‘fill voids that nothing else can fill;’
  •  A comical reference is made about a man buying crack cocaine.
  • Plenty of drinking at parties, out of bottles, while driving and by irresponsible parents.
  • At a party a dog is being fed beer through a hose and tipped down a funnel.
  • A father offers his young daughter (six-years) cough medicine in a bid to make her go to sleep.

Coarse language

There is low to medium-level coarse language, putdowns and name calling scattered throughout. Examples include:

  • oh my god, what the hell, eating a banana with my butt, big arse, hairy man’s feet, screw him, screwed up, dick, being a dick, penis, kicking my arse, flabby arse, crap town, crap, and giant butt.  
  • “Dead beat, you stink losers, you prostitutes, morons, sucks, dumb arse, wimp, freak, idiot, and bozo.  

In addition there is a lot of crude/toilet humour such as:

  • A man say that his wife divorced him because she caught him ‘eating a banana with his butt’.  
  • A man falls asleep on a bed in a crowded Kmart store. When he wakes up he staggers over to a display toilet, pulls down his shorts, sits on the toilet and makes groining noises as if defecating while shouting “Come out of me!”
  • In several scenes a man performs a burp-sneeze-flatulence ritual in public causing people standing nearby to grimace.
  • The male owner of an ice cream shop is tricked into bending over an ice cream dispensing machine to make adjustments to the machine. The adjustments result in chocolate soft serve ice cream pouring out of the machine between the man’s legs appearing as if the man is defecating.

In a nutshell

Grown Ups 2 is a comedy film that relies heavily on adult themed, crude (mainly sexist) humour, toilet humour, slapstick comedy, coarse language and the objectification of women to entertain its audience. Parents should note that while younger children will be attracted to the film’s cast of children and teens as support characters, its adult themed content makes it unsuitable for younger children under the age of thirteen years.   

The positive messages from this movie are

  • Friendships and relationships are very important.
  • Parenthood requires responsibility and commitment.
  • Unplanned children are not loved any less than children that are planned for. 

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Positive caring relationships: Three of the film’s lead male characters are depicted as having a positive and caring relationship with their partners.
  • Parenting: Four of the film’s lead characters are depicted as committed and caring fathers, who take an active role in their children’s lives.  

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Parents may wish to discuss with their children the manner in which the film objectifies women, and the negative influence that the film’s content of sexist crude humour may have on viewers.

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