'Cheaper By the Dozen 2'
Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt return as prolific progenitors Tom and Kate Baker, who cart their brood of 12 up to a lake house for one last summer before the oldest kids head off in separate directions.
But nostalgia is quickly shoved aside when Eugene Levy turns up as a smarmy father of eight looking to re-ignite an old rivalry with Tom, a challenge to which the Baker kids rise with their usual destructive prowess ... until master prankster Sarah (Alyson Stoner) discovers boys, or more specifically one of Levy's sons.
It's pretty predictable stuff, with Martin and Levy exchanging veiled insults while their kids run around destroying stuff. But there are a few unexpected developments -- Hunt has a couple of sweet scenes with Carmen Electra, who turns up as Levy's trophy wife, and Tom Welling, as the eldest Baker boy, strikes convincing sparks opposite Jamie King as Levy's daughter. Kids might resent the way the grown-up scenes take precious screen time away from action sequences that end with Martin taking a hit to the groin, but their restless parents will surely appreciate the nod towards character development.
Foxs' flippable DVD gives you a choice of full-frame or enhanced-widescreen presentations, each viewable with audio commentary by director Adam Shankman.
The widescreen side also includes a pair of production featurettes, which feel about as slapped-together as the movie: "Camp Chaos", in which the actors tell us that making the movie hardly even felt like work, and "A Comedic Trio," in which Martin, Hunt and Levy are admired by their co-stars.
Flip to the full-frame face and you'll find a "Casting Session" promo from Fox Movie Channel, with Shankman, screenwriter Sam Hunter and casting director Monica Swann discussing the challenges of finding a new "family" to play opposite the reassembled original players. Hey, whatever makes you feel like you're contributing.
STUDIO: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2006
TIME: 94 minutes
DVD EXTRAS: French and Spanish audio dubs; English and Spanish subtitles; audio commentary; production featurettes.
INTERNET SITE: cheaperbythedozen2dvd.com