The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Sports Comedy, Family-Oriented Comedy, Sports Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 8, 1977 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

The Bad News Bears didn't really call for a sequel, but studios rarely argue with a hefty box office -- and so was born the unnecessary The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training. Since unnecessary sequels really exist only to lure in viewers who were pleased with the original, they usually try to duplicate the earlier film as much as possible -- hence Training's insistence that the Bears are a bunch of losers, even though the first film was all about them learning to work together and be a successful team. To overcome this, Training needs to have a bunch of clever plot twists and be loaded with snappy dialogue. Instead, the plot is tired and clich├ęd and the dialogue confuses scatology with wit. Worse, the writers add in an estranged father-son subplot that is entirely too sentimental for the surroundings. What saves Training is its cast; the kids are a good little bunch of actors (and Jackie Earle Haley is considerably more than that), and William Devane adds a good deal of punch. There's nothing special about The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, but its performers make it much more painless than it could have been.