DADDY DAY CAMP
Enterprising dads Charlie Hinton (Cuba Gooding Jr) and Phil Ryerson (Paul Rae) have made their Daddy Day Care centre a success, but now summer is here, they are worried they will lose business to the local day camps. Charlie has bad memories of camping as a boy; besides he had issues with his military father Col. Buck Hinton (Richard Gant) who was tough on him. Charlie and Phil take over dilapidated Camp Driftwood but are soon faced with foreclosure. Charlie calls on his estranged father to help run things and hopefully battle dwindling enrolments and competition from neighbouring Camp Canola, run by arrogant Lance Warner (Lochlyn Munro).
Review by Louise Keller:
I can't think of a single kind word to say about this unfortunate family comedy which is unoriginal, predictable, schmaltzy and bland. While Daddy Day Care had a few things going for it (like Steve Zahn as Eddie Murphy's side-kick), this lack-lustre sequel is not worth the light of day. Nor is it worthy of the talents of Cuba Gooding jnr, who, like the rest of the cast, is over-directed by former child-actor Fred Savage. Savage started acting at age 4, but it is his role as Charlie in Visa Versa, aged 12, that I remember him best. It is hard to gauge what age-group the three scriptwriters (including Geoff Rodkey, who penned the original) might have been targeting; one thing is for sure. It misses all of them.
All the characters are plastic. There's Gooding jnr's Charlie, the easy-going, loving father and caring dad who never had a relationship with his own father, the regimented marine Colonel Buck (Richard Gant). Charlie's wife Kim (Tamala Jones) appears intermittently offering some nauseatingly obvious advice and his partner Phil (Paul Rae) is a nondescript, rotund character who farts a lot. The kids are cute enough as they are put through their strides but it is all too predictable as they find themselves confronted by smarmy competing camp owner Lance Warner (Lochlyn Munro) who is a bit like a boo-hiss villain. They are taught military disciplines by Colonel Buck and pay lipservice to learning the value of teamwork. There's also a schmaltzy father/son subplot between Charlie and his cute-as-a-button son Ben (Spencir Bridges) and another between Charlie and Colonel Buck.
The kids are camouflaged as trees, pelt paint, mushy vegetables and cream pies and discover that to prevail over cheating, serious outsmarting (involving a skunk, a urine-filled balloon and projective vomiting) wins the day. Possibly the only original idea comes in a subplot in which one of the youngsters offers valid suggestions to his love-struck friend, as he fantasises about the girl who looks like an angel as she sprays on bugspray. With a constantly furrowed brow, Gooding jnr looks dazed throughout this entire mishap; perhaps the promised paycheck was as elusive as the plot.
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DADDY DAY CAMP (PG)
CAST: Cuba Gooding jnr, Paul Rae, Richard Gant, Lochlyn Munro, Tamala Jones, Josh McLerran, Spencir Bridges,
PRODUCER: John Davis, William Sherak, Jason Shuman
DIRECTOR: Fred Savage
SCRIPT: Geoff Rodkey, J. David Stem, David N. Weiss
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Geno Salvatori
EDITOR: Michael Aller
MUSIC: James Dooley
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Eric Weiler
RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 29, 2007