Daddy Day Camp



Aiming squarely for the potty and missing virtually every time, "Daddy Day Camp," the Eddie Murphy-less sequel to 2003's "Daddy Day Care," makes for an awfully long 85 minutes -- even by the diminished demands of its juvenile target audience.

Any scrap of charm or honest-to-goodness humor already possessed in limited quantities by the original has been relegated to the outhouse in this sorry follow-up.

Obviously, Sony is banking on its intended demographic not being overwhelmed by Buena Vista's "Underdog," given "Daddy's" arrival less than a week later. But minus Murphy, it's got nowhere to go but down.

It turns out Murphy isn't the only one who's out of the picture -- so is the rest of the original cast, including Jeff Garlin, who played his best buddy-turned-business partner.

So this time around, the roles of Charlie and Phil are played by once-upon-a-time Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Garlin look-alike Paul Rae, still operating their thriving Daddy Day Care business.

But when they discover that their old childhood day camp has been run into the ground, they agree to take it over, much to the chagrin of their kids, who would prefer to go to the tonier Camp Canola, which is now operated by Charlie's old nemesis and tormentor, Lance Warner (Lochlyn Munro).

With mere days away from being foreclosed upon, the guys have to work fast, even if it's at the expense of Charlie's relationships with his eager-to-please son (Spencir Bridges) and disapproving military dad (Richard Gant).

Taking the reins from "Daddy Day Care" director Steve Carr, feature newbie Fred Savage would have seemed to be the man for the job, given his extensive Disney Channel directing credits.

But he can't seem to make much out of the shoddy blueprints furnished by screenwriter Geoff Rodkey (who wrote the first one), along with J. David Stem and David N. Weiss.

Their combined efforts produce enough puking, farting and shots to the crotch to fill the next "Jackass" movie, while the entire childhood rival plot line could have been lifted wholesale from "Cheaper by the Dozen 2."

As far as the performances go, let's just say if Savage's cast was encouraged to play it any broader, they would have needed CinemaScope.

TriStar Pictures
A TriStar Pictures and Revolution Studios presentation
Director: Fred Savage
Screenwriters: Geoff Rodkey, J. David Stem, David N. Weiss
Story by: Geoff Rodkey, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow
Producers: William Sherak, Jason Shuman
Executive producers: John Davis, Matt Berenson, Derek Dauchy, Richard Hull, Chris Emerson, Nancy Kirhoffer, Jefferson Richard
Director of photography: Geno Salvatori
Production designer: Eric Weiler
Music: Jim Dooley
Costume designer: Carolyn Leone-Smith
Editor: Michel Aller
Charlie Hinton: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Lance Warner: Lochlyn Munro
Buck: Richard Gant
Kim Hinton: Tamala Jones
Phil Ryerson: Paul Rae
Uncle Morty: Brian Doyle-Murray
Dale: Joshua McLerran: Ben Hinton: Spencir Bridges
Running time -- 85 minutes
MPAA rating: PG