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CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2 (PG) (2005)

20th Century Fox

Official Site

Director: Adam Shankman

Producers: Shawn Levy, Ben Myron

Written by: Sam Harper; from the novel by Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth

Cast: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Eugene Levy, Hilary Duff, Carmen Electra

Rating:


What happened to you, Steve? Why do you keep doing things like this?

You see readers, there are two different Steve Martins—good Steve Martin and bad Steve Martin. Good Steve Martin is a genius at both comedy and writing, known for such great comedies as Roxanne, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, My Blue Heaven. Good Steve Martin is also a brilliant writer/playwright, achieving such amazing and outside-the-box works as “Picasso At The Lapin Agile” and a well done modern comedy in Bowfinger.

Then there’s bad Steve Martin. Bad Steve Martin… well it’s still Steve Martin, but instead we get mainstream hack-work garbage, the grand slam of sucktitude including movies like Bringing Down The House, Cheaper By The Dozen, Looney Tunes: Back In Action, and now Cheaper By The Dozen 2. These will later be followed by abominations such as the oft-delayed Pink Panther (Take a guess why it’s been delayed so long.) and God help us, Bringing Down The House 2: Bringing It Harder.

Cheaper By The Dozen 2 embodies everything wrong with mainstream Hollywood cinema and cinema in general. Or to be more specific, it represents everything I hate about movies—annoying and bratty kids; heaping amounts of low-brow and unsophisticated humor; cookie-cutter plots, characters, and romance; and of course, an ugly dog that goes for the crotch. Steve, these are not your finest moments.

The Baker family (Get it? Baker, because… never mind) has returned for another 90 minutes of pure, unmitigated torture. The kids are growing up. They are leaving the house, getting married, getting pregnant, starting to date, wanting to date, taking internships in New York City, working full-time among other things. Tom Baker (Martin) just wants to keep his family together and hold on to it. Well Tom, why don’t you and your lovely wife, Kate (Hunt), have a little alone time and bang out another dozen so we can come back for Cheaper By The Double Dozen 3? Woah, hold on. Hollywood would probably do that crap.

Desperate to have the entire family together for one last occasion, Tom arranges the family trip to a lake resort for Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately for Tom and especially for me, Eugene Levy decided that leaving me nearly crippled, handicapped, and paralyzed at his hands after The Man was not enough. So as Jimmy Murtaugh, Levy has taken over most of the lake community as a private owner. He and Tom are old rivals. Naturally, the strict disciplinarian parent of eight children butts heads with the laid-back Tom and his twelve. Tempers flare, and the old rivalry is renewed—just like Chris Benoit vs. Booker T in their best-of-seven series.

By the end of this movie you will learn the true meaning of family. That is, in case you didn’t know it already. Well guess what, Adam Shankman and Sam Harper? I already knew from the first awful time around, and before that as well!

The only good thing about this movie is that it will make you long for superior comedies such as My Blue Heaven, which you should watch, rent, or buy “quicker than a hiccup” as good ole Jim Ross would say. As for you Steve, I can never hate you. But if you screw up the movie based on “Picasso At The Lapin Agile” I just might never forgive you.

“Talent is the ability to say things well, but genius is the ability to, well, say things.”

—Picasso At The Lapin Agile

—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

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