‘The Sandlot 2’ is a badly recycled sequel that loses the nostalgic charm of the original

[rating=1]Starring: Max Lloyd-Jones, James Willson, Samantha Burton, Brett Kelly, Greg Germann
Director(s): David Mickey Evans
Writer(s): David Mickey Evans

A new set of kids play once more on the famed baseball field in 'The Sandlot 2'
A new set of kids play once more on the famed baseball field in ‘The Sandlot 2’

Let me start off by saying that I was a fan of the original The Sandlot. It’s a cute, nostalgic film about baseball and childhood.

In other words, everything that The Sandlot 2 is not.

I was initially surprised to hear they had made a sequel. I hadn’t heard anything about it until getting the press release, so I was curious to see what it was about. Sadly, it’s mostly a bad rehash of the original film, sans the charming child actors or the chemistry between them.

The Sandlot 2 takes place a decade after the events of the original. A new group of kids now play on the sandlot. The wall that separates the field from the infamous dog is now made of a large pile of old refrigerators, washing machines, dryers and other junk. In that decade, a new legend about “The Great Fear” has emerged. It tells of a deadly dog that lives on the other side of the wall of junk that once bit a young child.

The young collection of boys first face off against an arrogant set of little leaguers, and must also confront their prejudices against girls, when several look to play softball on the sandlot.

Of course, this all is irrelevant, as the ultimate story is about something getting stuck on the other side of the fence where the infamous dog lives. This time it’s a small, fully functional model of the new space shuttle. The children use a lot of elaborate schemes to attempt to get the crashed shuttle, all of which to avoid having to simply confront the man who lives there.

In other words, the story is pretty much the same as the original. But The Sandlot 2 lacks the kind of talent that made the first film so enjoyable. It also is devoid of any emotional resonance. Where its predecessor effectively felt like a sweet look back at a more innocent time, its sequel fails to capture that sense of innocence. In the original, it’s a valuable baseball signed by the legendary Babe Ruth that gets lost over the fence. Here, it’s a model space shuttle, one that has no real importance or value.

Plus, the rehashed concept of the infamous dog has no real power to it, since we as the audience already know that the dog and its owner are really good and kind. What surprised me more than anything, however, was that The Sandlot 2 was written and directed by the same person who made the original.

The DVD itself has a few good special features, the most notable for me being “The Sandlot Kids: Then and Now”, which features some of the stars from the original film as they discuss their experience making that movie. There’s also a good featurette about several major league players who discuss their childhood experiences playing baseball.

But for me, The Sandlot 2 was such a disappointing experience, I can’t say that any of the extras really made it any more enticing.

Rated: PG
Run Time: 1 hr., 37 mins. 

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan has written, directed and produced more than a dozen short films under the banner of Maynard Films, and has worked as a writer for more than a decade for websites, magazines and newspapers.

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