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A man with an important business meeting finds himself having to take care of the carpool for the neighborhood school children when his wife gets sick. Stopping to get donuts for the kids, things go even more awry when he finds himself a victim of a robbery. However, the situation only gets worse as a desperate man who had been contemplating a bank robbery robs the robbers and takes the man and the kids hostage in their van as his truck is blocked by an armored car. The thing then proceeds into a comedic chase movie. The father finds his kids don't really respect him and they react better to the robber. The end result is everyone gets a lifestyle change, including the original store owner. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
This is your common family comedy: a lack of realism, fart jokes, kids and dopey adults taking control, more bad jokes, and a busy parent with a struggling relationship with his/her child.
What is with the last item on that list? All these family movies have the boilerplate `'I hate you, Dad/Mom' 'save me, Dad/Mom' 'I love you, Dad/Mom'' subplots, as if they're required by law. I thought such subplots were dumb when I was young enough to appreciate family movies. As an 18-year-old, they look even stupider. I don't think anyone truly gets anything from them. Even the dumbest jokes were a better investment of time.
Still, it's not all bad. Silly movies like this can be much worse. The acting was decent, assuming that several actors were still kids. It's sad that they did a career-crushing film like this. Of the five kids, only Rachael Leigh Cook has had a remotely notable role since (`She's All That,' almost three years later). As for the adults, I was impressed with Rod Steiger and David Paymer, but couldn't they find something better?
Most would be horrified to think about a sequel, but with so much to improve, I doubt it could be worse. (Maybe Kayla, now in her late teens, fills in for the carpool and Chelsea and Travis are now teens, with new little kids to take their place. The hijacker could be an early-20's guy so he can have a love/hate relationship with Kayla. You groan, but would you rather a cheesy parent/child relationship?) These are just my ravings: even if you could get the actors to return, the reputation of the original would still be there. Then again, maybe the public has forgotten after four years.
My overall impression: this movie is as mediocre as it gets; just how so depends on your age group. Kids will enjoy the bad jokes. Adolescent boys will enjoy Kayla's outfit. Everyone else: it won't kill you, but there has to be at least one better tape in the store.
Parents: be advised that family movies are not the best way to spend time with your kids; this one is no exception.
My rating: 5.
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