The Sandlot 2 (2005) / Comedy-Family
MPAA Rated: PG for language, crude humor, and mild violence
Running Time: 97 min.
Cast: Max Lloyd-Jones, James Wilson, Samantha Burton, Brett Kelly, Carl Evan Weiss, Neilen Benvegnu, Sean Berdy, Griffin Reilly Evans, James Earl Jones
Director: David M. Evans
Screenplay: David M. Evans
You can take this review or what it's worth, because I realize that most people who might be inclined to view The Sandlot 2 are people who liked, or even loved, The Sandlot. Being someone who did not care for it, my expectations for this sequel were not very high at all. I expected more of the same, and that's exactly what I got here. There are the same annoying group of kids, the same sandlot, the same situations, and the same type of humor. In fact, if it weren't for the incorporation of James Earl Jones (Finder's Fee, Clear and Present Danger) character at the end of the film, I would classify The Sandlot 2 as a remake, not a sequel, to the first film.
Although the setting is the same, the year is 1972, ten years since the events of the first Sandlot. A group of neighborhood boys, mostly 6th graders, get together regularly to spend their time playing baseball at the local sandlot. There are some rivals competing for use of the lot, the latest in the form of three young girls who are quite good at playing softball. Rivals at first, the two different groups soon find merit in playing together, but they still find ways to get into trouble, especially when a top secret model of what we would soon come to know as the "space shuttle" ends up getting launched into the neighbor's yard, which is guarded by one of the most ferocious dogs in existence.
I'm going to guess that if you liked the first Sandlot film, you're probably going to be disappointed with Sandlot 2, not only because it is almost the exact same thing, but because you're also an older viewer watching something meant almost strictly for kids. You probably look back on The Sandlot with glossed-over nostalgia, and are expecting the new film to give you that same feeling of wonder and discovery the original did. It won't happen. You're a much older person now, and you've seen it all before.
This is a Sandlot meant for a newer, younger audience, and if there is anything I would have changed about this sequel, it would have been removing the "2" from the title. Perhaps "Sandlot - The Next Generation", or something to that effect, would have been more appropriate, as it would have kept those who saw the first film from expecting a continuation of the original story, and it would have more likely to have been viewed by a new crowd of kids unfamiliar with the first film, which is probably the only audience that is likely to come away thinking Sandlot 2 is worth watching.
The Sandlot 2 is a superfluous rehash, not adding anything at all that is unique on its own to make it worth a revisit a second time. If you've seen The Sandlot, you've seen The Sandlot 2. It's the same spastic-type kids with the same silly jokes, and if there is one big difference between the two films, it's that the second film doesn't have the added benefit of being a nostalgia film extolling the virtue of the grand national pastime, baseball. If only people who haven't seen The Sandlot will like this, why in the world would you choose to see this first over the original? If there were any need for an example of a completely worthless sequel, this is it.
-- For more information, see the Quip regarding reviewing films for kids.
©2005 Vince Leo