This week at the movies, we’ve got puerile parenting (Grown Ups, starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock) and rogue romance (Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz). What do the critics have to say?
On most days, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Kevin James are very funny people. Unfortunately, it seems few of those days coincided with the filming of Grown Ups, which critics say is a juvenile, repetitive, lazy comedy. The plot: five friends reunite at the funeral of the high school basketball coach, and decide to spend a raucous Independence Day weekend together — with their wives and kids along for the ride. As it turns out, they haven’t matured much since their younger days. The pundits say Grown Ups looks like it was fun for the cast to make, but it’s largely a string of lowest-common denominator gags with little comic discipline to be found.
Say what you will about Tom Cruise’s oddball public persona, but the guy has charisma to spare. Critics say his presence goes a long way toward enlivening the action/comedy/romance Knight and Day, which is otherwise short on logic and ultimately favors bombast over charm. Cruise stars as a (possibly insane) rogue agent who recruits Cameron Diaz for his latest globe-trotting mission — but is he who he seems? The pundits say Cruise and Diaz are fine, but this implausible (and surprisingly violent) film is undercut by strained plotting. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down Diaz’s best-reviewed films.)
Also opening this week in limited release: