Having sired enough children in Parenthood, Father Of The Bride and Cheaper By The Dozen to pack a hockey stadium, you'd think Steve Martin would have had his fill of family. But no: he's back for more in Cheaper By The Dozen 2, a dreary sequel to his 2003 hit that sees his remarkably fertile patriarch take his extended brood on summer vacation. Crammed with moppet mayhem, mawkish sentiment and bruising slapstick, it's a flat-footed retread only Right to Lifers could love.
The first film (based on a 1950 classic starring Clifton Webb) saw Martin's would-be football coach Tom Baker happily sacrifice his own dreams to raise his unruly and largely ungrateful tykes. This time around the older siblings - Lorraine (Hilary Duff), Charlie (Tom Weller) and heavily pregnant Nora (Piper Perabo) - are on the verge of flying the nest, prompting their possessive pop to arrange one last visit to picturesque Lake Winnetka in rural Wisconsin.
"A COLLISION COURSE"
No sooner have they arrived, though, than the Baker brats fall foul of Tom's longtime rival Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy), now a rich entrepreneur with eight kids of his own and a trophy wife (Carmen Electra) on his arm. "The Gucci loafer's on the other foot now!" he sneers, setting their respective clans on a collision course.
The only memorable scene from the original saw Ashton Kutcher get chomped in the goolies by the Bakers' pooch Gunner. The fact director Adam Shankman repeats this gag virtually shot by shot tells you all you need to know about this tedious tripe.