9 August 2007 | PoisonKeyblade
God-awful Family Film with Little to Offer
After sitting through the entirety of Daddy Day Camp, I have to wonder what was going through everyone's minds who were involved in the making. The most likely reason was probably them thinking, "Is it really possible to make a movie this year that is worse than Evan Almighty and Delta Farce? Let's go for it!" Fortunately, Daddy Day Camp is nowhere near as horrible as those other two films, but lord know that it does come very close. This abomination of a movie somehow manages to feature a great actor, Cuba Gooding, Jr., in by far his worst role yet.
Anyone even slightly familiar with the first film will know the deal here. Low on money, Charlie Hinton decides to open up a camp similar to the day care service he ran in the first movie. Along the way, he must resolve problems with his father and show his son that he really loves him.
Yes, I know the plot sucks. While the first movie wasn't anything to write home about, Daddy Day Camp is about a thousand times worse. In the few scenes where there is supposed to be something meaningful occurring, everything just comes off in the wrong way. It might be because everything about this careless sequel is just ridiculous. Was it really necessary to make a sequel? The first film is almost entirely disregarded and almost every role is recast (although I haven't seen the first one in quite some time so there might not be any of the original cast members returning.) When Eddie Murphy turned down the movie, they should have just dropped it and forgotten about it. He was part of what made the first movie work, to some sort of level. His manic energy, his great comedic timing, his general appeal
Cuba Gooding Jr. is a great actor, but this role was just altogether wrong for him. It just didn't work as well as it should have. That being said, however, he was certainly the best aspect about this utterly atrocious film.
Daddy Day Camp is missing much of the magic that made the first movie watchable. None of the scene meld together very well (some of the younger characters go from heartfelt moments, to being rude to other kids for no reason to be rude and increasingly annoying) and the writing and dialogue are as unbelievable as they come. The villain is just pathetic, and the lesson that is supposed to be learned by the end of the film is a very weak one. Since none of the younger characters follow this lesson throughout the movie or seem to have learned anything by the film's end, it all feels just so useless. There are also, of course, those same old gross-out gags that you find in any boring family comedy. Here, however, they are not done as tastefully as in Underdog or as effectively as in the Cheaper By the Dozen films. In Daddy Day Camp, just like with the first film, it is pretty much lame gag after lame gag, watching flashy boring moments thrown onto the screen in the hopes that something will stick and not come off as completely and totally immature. In the first film, more often than not, most of the gags worked to a certain extent. In this film, there are very few redeeming factors, though. Barely any of those gags work. In fact, I didn't even crack a smile throughout the whole movie, and I am incredibly easy to please.
Another huge problem of the film was that most of the child actors were not only annoying, but their acting was so bad that I wanted to kill myself. Each person had their moments, but the kids mostly came off as incredibly inexperienced. Movies as bad as Daddy Day Camp could at least have the common decency to provide us with a semi-likable cast of children that won't annoy us to death throughout the movie. The people who cast this predictable shame of a movie should have learned a lesson from the talents of the kids in the feature film adaption of How to Eat Fried Worms. All of those kids were incredibly likable, and I loved every minute spent with them and their childhood lives. That film is much more interesting and complex than this simplistic bore-fest that cannot even credit a single laugh to its name. With Evan Almighty, I did at least laugh quite a few times. In Daddy Day Camp, I cannot even give it that compliment. The only reason that it ended up better than Evan Almighty was because of the story between Charlie and his father. Surprisingly enough, it actually worked at times, and it worked very well I must say. And not all of the kids were completely terrible.
So all in all, Daddy Day Camp was a pretty crappy movie filled with wasted talent and some of the worst child actors I've seen on screen. It is really obvious from the get-go that very little effort was put into this boring sequel. I just hope that nobody goes into this movie expecting even a relatively good movie, because it disappoints with even the lowest of expectations. 2.5/10