By Dominick’s (Kevin James) calculations, the aryan nationalist — he’s the one with the swastika yarmulke inked atop his parietal bone — has spent 54,538 hours behind bars mentally mapping out an escape route and he’s not about to let 15-year-old Becky (Lulu Wilson) upend his plans. This is not Kevin James’ first dramatic turn — his one unforced accomplishment came in the faith-based WWII family picture Little Boy — but damn if this doesn’t serve to illustrate the comparatively impactful enrichment to be found in Grown Ups 2. In this generic juggling of The Desperate Hours, a quartet of modern day goose-steppers led by Dominick, break prison in search of a treasure of Nazi loot the key to which is stashed in a lake house occupied by Becky and her surrogate family. 8 characters, 1 location and a quintet of fumblers who for the life of them cannot fashion a movie around a half-dozen or so gore scenes. (One can practically hear James on the dialing end of a phone call with Adam Sandler giggling, “And the script calls for my optic nerve to be snipped in two with a child’s safety scissors.”) Even the simplest implementation of audience-pacifying torture escapes the five minds (two directors and three screenwriters) it took to crap it out. Imagine my shock when the seared marshmallows were unskewered and their toasting stick employed as an implement of torture rather than using the Stay Puft pillows to make eyelid smores. Films about sadistic teenage killing machines have long been faced with extinction and nothing about this trite retread warrants a renaissance. (2020) — Scott Marks

Rated R | 1 hour, 34 minutes
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