Morris "Mud" Himmel has a problem. His parents desperately want to send him away to summer camp. He hates going to summer camp, and would do anything to get out of it. Talking to his ... See full summary »
I never saw Cheaper by the Dozen (the 2003 surprise hit), and I don't think you have to see it so get all you can out of the sequel. That is to say, there is little to get out of it, so don't waste your time "preparing" for it. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is a formulaic family comedy where Steve Martin becomes a father possessed with a drive to outdo another father, only to be reminded that his family will still love him no matter if they win the big movie-contrived competition or not. Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and his wife, Kate (Bonnie Hunt) begin the movie by attending their daughter's graduation ceremony with his 11 other kids. Lorraine's graduation (Hilary Duff, no singing this time) motivates Tom to start thinking about how the family is moving apart from the customary tight-knit group he remembers, so he wants to take the family on one last vacation. So they load up the cars and vans and head out to some lake somewhere in the Midwest (or Canada, depending on the film's budget), a lake that has seen the evil Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy) buy up all of the land and build super lake homes on the shore. Jimmy and Tom have a history, one that is sort of dumb and is one of those back stories that can only be written for a story like this one. I really like Eugene Levy as a comedic actor, but I don't think he was right for this role. Levy excels in understated humor, where his character has no idea he's being funny. The role of Jimmy is over-the-top and cliché and I didn't think he fit the role well at all. Carmen Electra plays Jimmy's wife, and she's actually very good at playing the bimbo wife when given the chance, and the kid actors are generally good as well. The story is predictable and only mildly entertaining, but I guess families will enjoy the night out and there is a certain sweet charm to the final scenes of the film.
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