Daddy Day Camp

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +1

Content: +3

Cuba Gooding Jr., Paul Rae, Richard Gant, Lochlyn Munro, Tamala Jones. Comedy. Directed by Fred Savage (The Princess Bride, and TVs The Wonder Years).

FILM SYNOPSIS: The sequel to Daddy Day Care finds dads Charlie Hinton and Phil Ryerson in another kid-harried adventure as they take over running a summer day camp. Armed with no knowledge of the great outdoors, a dilapidated facility, and a motley group of campers, it doesnt take long before things get out of control. Up against threats of foreclosure and declining enrollment Charlie is forced to call on his estranged father, Col Buck Hinton (Richard Gant) to help bring the camp together and teach everyone about teamwork, perseverance and the power of forgiveness.

PREVIEW REVIEW: A reviewer has to keep kids in mind when critiquing movies aimed at that age groupI tried, I swear. But this film is truly witless and I can only assume that parents will send their offspring to this monstrosity because its near the end of summer and the little darlings are driving them nuts. Well, its harmless. Itll keep them out of the heat and adults will have about 85 minutes of peace and quiet. I guess its worth the money.

I think highly of the films director, Fred Savage, but for someone who grew up in The Wonder Years, youd think hed bring some inventiveness to the table. He doesnt. But then how can you expect a comedy to be funny when you dont cast comedians. Cuba Gooding Jr. proved in Jerry Maguire that he has acting chops, but never has an actor been so hampered by mediocre scripts post his Oscar win (Norbit, Boat Trip, Rat Race, etc). One after another, Gooding just keeps getting cast in movies that should have gone directly to a video store in Transylvania. And the performance he gives here makes one wonder if the Best Supporting Oscar of 1996 should have gone to William H. Macy (Fargo).

You know Im careful about saying anything too brutal about an actor, but who is Paul Rae? He plays Cubas buddy, Phil. Trouble is, Mr. Rae simply has no comic timing or whimsy. Ive had to delete several lines in reference to his performance. They just sounded too mean, and I dont want to be mean. I just hope Mr. Rae has invested well. Lets leave it at that.

I cant really think of a summer camp movie that is truly funny (without crudity). The first act of The Parent Trap took place in a summer camp. Its really not all that funny, either, but at least it had a clever concept, the Disney touch and Haley Mills. Daddy Day Camp has a backed-up sewer that blows up, flatulence jokes and, of course, food fights. What it doesnt have is laughs.

Video Alternative: Daddy Day Care. While there are a few crudities and some off-color language that garner it a PG rating, the warm-hearted Daddy Day Care has an expert cast and, though I hesitate to call it smart, compared to the sequel, its downright brilliant.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Though one kid is disrespectful and several people use butthead to express their distain for one another, generally the filmmakers avoid offensive language.

Obscene Language: I caught no cussing.

Profanity: None

Violence: Slapstick situations such as an outhouse blowing up, the occupant walking out with a toilet seat around his neck. Ha, ha, ha.

Sex: One kid has a crush on a girl camper; his little brother gives him dating advice; but, again, the filmmakers use discretion.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: There are pee jokes, flatulence jokes, belching jokes, back-up sewer jokes, food fight jokes, vomit jokes several of them, and a hit to the groin visual joke ha, ha, ha.

Running Time: 85 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.