Leaving no potential franchise alone, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training is a miserable sequel to an original that hasn’t aged well. There’s lighter tone here, with the loss of Walter Mathau’s character (he was married is the one line explanation), and while it seems as that would work, it doesn’t. It’s just not funny.
It’s also completely implausible, as the kids go on a road trip from California to Houston without a single parent making the trip with them to watch the game. Even if you can swallow that, you can’t figure out why the Bears received an invite to play in the Astrodome. The writers want you to believe they won the state championship the previous year, when in fact, they lost.
William Devane plays the new coach, with basic skills that lead to the scenes of training. The kids have seemingly forgotten everything they learned in the time span of a few months, and proceed to miss the most basic plays until the big game when of course, it matters. Besides the practices and a brief sandlot game, that’s the only baseball in the entire movie. It’s a complete turn around from the original, which never seemed to leave the diamond.
The attempt at drama between Devane’s character and his son (returning Jackie Haley, along with most of the child actors) add the single layer of depth to anybody in the film. Even this doesn’t seem to make any sense. Tanner Boyle is the only other player who seems to matter, going through the same temper tantrums and racial tirades he did in the first film, all while informing Timmy Lupus on their progress who is at home with a broken leg.
This film only seems to exist to make the third sequel work, with lines in the script that indicate they’ll go to Japan if they win a four inning game set up by Anheuser Bush. That’s even more ridiculous (and it turned out that way too). Any appreciation for the original film is ruined by this inept, quickie sequel that was written and slapped together to capitalize on the hot Bad News Bears name. (* out of *****)
The transfer from Paramount is better than the one given to the previous entry in the series, with better compression and an overall cleaner display. Grain is still a problem, and it’s a big one including a few scenes that seem to have never been cleaned. The print has a taken a slightly heavier beating over the years, but it’s still not to a point where it’s un-watchable. The best change is clarity, and it’s apparent immediately as the film starts. (***)
This is the one of the lowest mixed DVDs you can find. You’ll need to bump the volume up twice as loud as you normally would to watch a movie. Even then, it’s still too hard to hear, and softer lines are lost. This is a mono track that desperately needs work. (*)
There are no extras, which is in line with the other two films. Even a trailer was too much to ask for. (No stars)
Even if the film made any sense from the start (which it doesn’t), this isn’t even close to the original. People were drawn to its edginess, and this sequel has none of this. It’s more appropriate for a younger child though, with just a spattering of original’s dated hard edge.