Saturday, 21 September 2013

Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (2005)

Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt return as Tom and Kate Baker, parents of twelve children (hence the title), in this sequel to the bland and harmless Cheaper By The Dozen. While the first movie was about the parents trying to fit in a career before realising that perhaps their children still needed them available at home for a few years yet, this sequel shows an attempt to keep the family together and enthusiastic for a holiday that might be their last one together. The older kids are about to set off further afield while the younger kids aren't going to want to join in with the family activites forever. However, when the Bakers get to their vacation spot, Tom finds that Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy) has bought most of the area and is living nearby. Jimmy is very competitive, and that brings out the worst in Tom.

Adam Shankman takes over from Shawn Levy for this lacklustre affair, reteaming with both Martin and Levy after having worked with them on Bringing Down The House (2003). If you have to choose between this movie and that movie, go with that movie. If you're forced to watch this movie then you won't suffer through anything truly terrible, but there are so many better ways to spend your time.

The script by Sam Harper is pretty horrible. There are one or two okay scenes, but I can't think of any individual lines of dialogue that made me so much as smirk. Think of the lessons that were learned in the first movie and the way in which the family was shown to be imperfect, but able to stick together when things got tough, and then rehash those ideas in an even less amusing way and you have Harper's script.

Martin and Hunt are both just fine as the parents, while Piper Perabo, Tom Welling and Hilary Duff are still bearable as the older members of the Baker brood. Jonathan Bennett is enjoyable enough as Perabo's partner, and Alyson Stoner gets the best moments as Sarah, the young mischief-maker who finally takes notice of a boy and starts to think about using makeup. As for the other main featured family, Eugene Levy is okay in his unsympathetic role, Carmen Electra is always a welcome addition to any movie I watch (hey, if I have to sit through films like this then allow me to enjoy any silver lining I can), Jaime King is  and a very young Taylor Lautner goes about being a very young Taylor Lautner.

If you enjoyed Cheaper By The Dozen then this is just about watchable. It's not good, but I've seen much worse. No, I don't know why they didn't call me for that poster quote either: "Not good, but I've seen much worse - Kevin Matthews"


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