The Sandlot 2


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Rating: PG

James Earl Jones as Mr. Mertle
Cole Evan Weiss as Saul
Brett Kelly as Mac McKing
James Willson as Johnnie Smalls
Max Lloyd-Jones as David Durango
Samantha Burton as Hayley Goodfairer
Neilen Benvegnu as Tarqell
Karen Allen as Mrs. Smalls
Sean Berdy as Sammy “Fingers” Samuelson
Griffin Reilly Evans as The Retriever
McKenzie Freemantle as Jenny
Jessica King as Penny
Teryl Rothery as Gloria Goodfairer
Reece Thompson as Singleton

Special Features:
Full Screen & Widescreen Versions on 1 disc

Full Length Commentary by Writer / Director David M. Evans

Behind the Scenes Featurette

The Sandlot Kids: Then and Now

Our Sandlot Days

Backyard Baseball Playable Game Demo

Original Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Language Track
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 97 Minutes

This is the sequel to the 1993 film The Sandlot. The following is from the DVD cover:

“From the director of The Sandlot comes this fun-filled sequel that proves the power of teamwork and celebrates the magic of friendship.

Ten years after the original story, the local dirt field is now ‘home’ to a new group of neighborhood kids who get together to share laughs, show off… and play ball! But the gang faces their toughest challenge as they try to retrieve an irreplaceable model rocket that lands in Mr. Mertle’s (James Earl Jones) backyard behind left field – a forbidden territory guarded by a legendary, growling, slobbering beast known as ‘The Great Fear.'”

The Sandlot 2 is rated PG for language, rude humor and brief violence.

The Movie:
I should start out by saying that I really enjoyed the first Sandlot film. It was funny, cute, and a great kids movie. So it was with a bit of eagerness that I sat down with my kids to watch The Sandlot 2. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed for a number of reasons.

First and foremost was the language. The kids repeatedly say “Hell”. It happens over and over. While it’s admittedly not the worst thing a kid could say, it’s not something you really want them repeating either. The hero of the film also yells out, “S**t!” as the dog pursues him. After my children heard that, I had to explain to them why I didn’t want them repeating it. Maybe I have misty watercolored memories of the first film, but I didn’t remember as much language in that movie. So for that alone I wouldn’t really recommend this movie for young kids.

The second problem is that the story is just weak. The backbone of the script is simply a rehash of the first movie where a group of kids must retrieve a precious object from a yard guarded by an infamous dog. It features many of the same plot points though it is intended as an homage. The little bits of originality like the 70’s setting or the boys vs. girls is really lost among the redone stuff. And while the first movie featured exaggerated scenes where the kids saw things that were larger than life, those moments in this movie just come across as stupid. For example, there’s a really cheesy scene where a model rocket falls into the backyard. It’s so improbable and poorly done that it quickly turns off adult viewers.

Finally, the acting is really weak. Most of the kids come across as the rookie actors that they are. The only real standouts are the two lead actors, Max Lloyd-Jones as David Durango and Samantha Burton as Hayley Goodfairer. Burton is cute and a good tomboy. You can probably expect to see more of her in the future. Fans of James Earl Jones will be disappointed to hear that his cameo is even shorter than the one in the first film. The narrator, played by writer / director David Mickey Evans, is also annoying in that he repeatedly attempts to foreshadow what will happen in the film. It gets redundant and useless fast.

In the end, this sequel doesn’t compare to the original. You’re better off just re-watching the first Sandlot film rather than wasting 97 minutes of your life watching this.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD besides the widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film. Here are the highlights:

Full Length Commentary by Writer / Director David M. Evans – Evans, the writer and director from the first movie, provides this commentary solo. While it would have been more interesting with some of the kids, he does provide a lot of insight. He talks about his inspiration for the story, filming in Vancouver, experiences with the kids, and more. He also points out the cameo by his own kid in the movie.

Behind the Scenes Featurette – This is your standard behind the scenes video featuring interviews with the cast and crew, shots of clowning around on the set, and more. It’s interesting to see the kids out of character, but you quickly realize their on-screen alter egos aren’t that different from their real personalities.

The Sandlot Kids: Then and Now – This is probably the most interesting of the bonus features. It shows a few of the kids from the first film and how they have grown up. They talk about their experiences from the movie and what they are doing now. Unfortunately, this reminds you how the other film was a better picture.

Our Sandlot Days – Retired MLB players reminisce about their days of playing baseball as kids. Only two are interviewed and one of them is Dave Winfield. Unless you’re a big baseball fan, this will be of little interest to you.

The Bottom Line:
The Sandlot 2 isn’t nearly as good as the first movie. Bad language and a bad plot make it a poor viewing choice for both kids and adults.