Bad News Bears, the - Saved in the last inning
| It sounds like a good idea. Put the Bad Santa guys on writing a remake of the original Bad News Bears to give it a millennial edge, hire an A-list art house director to make it respectable and youíve probably got a fun mid-summer winner. However, the delivery isnít quite as good as the pitch.
Bad News Bears falls pretty flat for the first act. The jokes seem like they were culled from Bad Santsís cutting room floor, not even rude enough to be offensive, or even groaners. The timing seems way off as if Linklater, the director of Before Sunrise/Sunset and Dazed and Confused knows nothing about comedy. Worse, the cast sucks.
Now I know that the team is supposed to be made up of losers but couldnít they have hired actors to play losers instead of just hiring losers? Honestly, these kids are the worst child actors since You Canít Do That On Television. There may be one or two arguable exceptions but there are no Tatum OíNeils in this crowd.
Even Billy Bob, so brilliant in Bad Santa, is phoning it in for the first hour of the film. Heís not even trying to make a line like ďThey say tieing is like kissing your sister but the way weíve been playing itís like kissing a really hot step sisterĒ funny. This is the dialogue he is born to spew and itís not even working that well.
However, somewhere in the last act the film really comes out swinging. The editor must have let up on the hacksaw and let some of the scenes really play out. Okay, the acting doesnít get any better but some of the jokes do. Thereís a little more abandon by the end and even though the message starts to feel a little afterschool specialish, the ending really rocks and saves the film.
While not brilliant or even that memorable, Bad News Bears isnít a total waste and would probably make a good renter on a rainy afternoon when thereís nothing else to watch. Just donít expect to laugh too hard.