Reviewed by: Brett Willis
|Featuring:||Judge Reinhold, Julia Sweeney, Michaela Gallo, Joe Pichler, Michael Ciccolini, Jamie Marsh|
|Director:||David Mickey Evans|
|Producer:||David Bixler, Kelli Konop|
|Distributor:||Universal Family and Home Entertainment Production|
Here’s another sequel which tries to keep the tone of the original and doesn’t quite succeed.
All of the original Newton family is written out of this episode (the kids, if played by the same actors, would be too old by now). Instead, Judge Reinhold stars as Richard Newton, whose brother has asked him to take temporary care of Beethoven. While the Newtons (mom, dad, brother, sister and a 185-pound dog) travel cross-country in a motor home to attend a family reunion, some really hopeless bad guys are tailing them because Richard has inadvertently bought a DVD containing secret, stolen computer code.
The writing struck me as lame. Really lame. Apparently the idea was to go for a G rating by not making the bad guys too scary (it worked). The biggest disappointment is that Beethoven, the title role, should have been given more to do. There are references to or parodies of a gamut of films including “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Jurassic Park,” and even “Bill Cosby, Himself.”
The MPAA rating system standards seem to have deteriorated the last few years. Although this episode is rated G, don’t assume that it’s less offensive than the others in the series, or let young children watch it without pre-viewing. There are several uses of “God” as an expletive; some crude and insulting language and bad attitudes in the family; an implied obscene gesture; crotch violence; visual and audio gags about bodily functions. In trying to create the perfect vacation trip, Richard takes his family to attractions like a combination of a Western gunfight reenactment and simulated Sumo wrestling, and exhibits like the world’s largest ball of earwax (which Beethoven samples).
The acting was OK all around; not realistic, but correctly tongue-in-cheek. But the whole storyline, and its execution, were missing something. Aside from the crudeness, it just wasn’t that funny. I found it a letdown.
I don’t recommend this film. It’s normal to go for sequels of something you enjoyed; but sometimes that’s a mistake.