Cheaper By The Dozen 2

Cheaper By The Dozen 2
Cast: Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff, Tom Welling, Piper Perabo, Eugene Levy, Carmen Elektra
Director: Adam Shankman
Screenplay: Sam Harper
Genre: Comedy/Family
Rated: PG infrequent mild coarse language
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Same Big Family - Even Bigger Adventure.

In 'Cheaper By The Dozen 2', Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and wife Kate (Bonnie Hunt), hoping to bring their family together for a memorable summer vacation, take their twelve offspring to rustic Lake Winnetka, Wisconsin - their long-time family vacation home. But their retreat soon turns cutthroat when they enter into a competition with the over-achieving members of a large family headed by Tom's long-time rival, Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy).

My Verdict:
The original cast from the Baker family, including Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and his wife Kate (Bonnie Hunt), that appeared in 'Cheaper By The Dozen' (2003) return for another chaotic episode of their lives as they head for a summer vacation together at Lake Winnetka, Wisconsin. This holiday however will be extra special as the eldest child of the Baker family, the married Nora (Piper Perabo), is very pregnant and due to give birth any day.

The Bakers had previously been on holiday at Lake Winnetka and had competed in a fierce rivalry with another largish family - The Murtaugh's - headed by the obsessively competitive Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy), who is in attendance this year with his fourth wife, the much younger and unconfident Sarina (Carmen Elektra).

The stakes keep getting raised as head of the Baker family, Tom (Steve Martin), and Jimmy strive to outdo each other, physically and mentally, in a series of escapades that culminate in the annual Lake Winnetka cup.

Never funny enough for belly laughs, there is enough to raise a smile and certainly enough to keep younger viewers entertained with slapstick antics galore that are often predictable and highly unlikely, including the resident rat that continuously steals the Bakers prized possessions, the Baker dog Gunner, who manages to destroy a family meal at the Murtaugh's and of course, the ongoing rivalry between Tom and Jimmy, who even resort to spying on one of their own children who go on a date at the local cinema.

A few subplots are included to round out the events as some of the children of both families discover new friendships and the future of the family unit is tested as the eldest of the Baker children enter adulthood, along with some concluding morals about the value of family and the meaning of parenthood, most coming courtesy of Steve Martin.

'Cheaper By The Dozen 2' is pretty innocuous and harmless and would certainly be able to be enjoyed by the whole family, especially the token few outtakes at the conclusion of the movie.

Rating : **

Christina Bruce