Cheaper By The Dozen had a strong story about shifting parental responsibilities in the modern world, while at the same time being a chaotic comedy about a household with twelve kids. This sequel is structured around an old rivalry between Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and rich over-achiever Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy), and a conflict over how they raise their kids. Whereas the first story felt relevant, and had original things to say, this one feels frivolous and absurdly obvious in its message. The funny bits aren’t quite as clever or as well observed. Overall, it just feels like a poor reflection of the first film. Amusing, but unnecessary.