After the success of the first film, a sequel of Cheaper By The Dozen was released two years after the original. It featured the same cast for the Baker family, with a lot of new faces for their rivals. Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, Kevin Schmidt, Alyson Stoner, Jacob Smith, Forrest Landis, Liliana Mumy, Morgan York, Blake Woodruff, and Brent and Shane Kinsman were back to cause more troubles, more fun and more heartwarming stories. This time joining the fun were Eugene Levy, Carmen Electra, Jamie King, Shawn Robets, Robert Amell, Alexander Conti and a very young Taylor Lautner. While the reviews were extremely negative, the film still managed to impress in the box office.
I'd have to say that the first movie was way better than this. While still maintaining that charm the first movie had, it lacked something. I still could not point out what it was that made it seem less exciting compared to the first, but there was something definitely missing here. The cast was just as brilliant, and I did like the concept of the story. I liked the performances of the actors and I liked the scenery it had. It must be the overall piecing together of the movie. I'm leaning towards the this since at the beginning I felt that some scenes were out of place, and unnecessary. It also lacked a bit of order and organization.
What I did like about the movie was how it gave the other kids a chance to be a little more prominent. I mentioned before that the first movie made sure to feature all the 12 kids. This time, they did that as well, and more effectively, I must say. I felt like the kids who weren't as visible before were more present in this film. It was like giving the chance to shine to the other kids. That I really appreciated. Morgan York and Liliana Mumy, and Jacob Smith had breakthroughs. I'm also glad they stuck with creating a story arc for Forrest Landis and Alyson Stoner as they were my two favorites from the first film, Although Stoner had a much bigger role in this film.
I enjoyed the competitive element of the movie. It added flavor and spice to the movie, and it became a source of laughter. At first, that was how the movie was described to me: two families battling it out. While it did happen, it wasn't until towards the end of the movie. However, I quite enjoyed those moments when the two groups were concentrating on winning. It also proved how reliable Steve Martin's antics are to ensure a good laugh. It's the exaggeration on his face when he reacts that I appreciate. Maybe I'm just really a kid, but I enjoy that kind of comedy, much more than I'd care to admit.
Eugene Levy, Carmen Electra, Jamie King, Shawn Robets, Robert Amell, Alexander Conti and Taylor Lautner were great additions. This "family" escalated the level of entertainment of the movie, and their characters proved to be a valuable asset to the story arcs of the different Bakers. It was fun to see how the relationship/conflict/battle/chaos would develop given the different levels and dynamics of the different characters. This part of te writing I was actually impressed by. It was on the genius side to transform the Baker family into rough and tough family. No more of the sweet side, it was time to bring it on; and that's exactly what they did.
It was these small things that made me still quite like this movie. The this about this movie was it got better and better as the time passed by, only it reached its maximum point towards the end that it was quite hard to feel as fulfilled as the first one. Having said that, it had its own merits. It was a real family movie, and not just about having a lot of kids. It's having to deal with issues and feelings like letting go, being able to know one's boundaries. It was a mature movie which was odd considering most of the cast were really young. But it had a sense of achievement after it in that it imparts valuable lessons in family life, or life in general. It focuses not only on the hits or misses, but the balancing of both. That aspect of the movie was very commendable.
Sure the first movie was a bit more glorious, and more exciting. But this movie had its own value. I won't even deny the fact that I found myself being amused by the little quirks of the movie. How they were able to intertwine different subjects within a single story line. If we're going to talk about the movie's faults, we should be fair and acknowledge the merits it had, and there were quite some really worth mentioning like the ones I talked about above.
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