The Bad News Bears (2005)

Bad news is right.

Billy Bob Thorton plays a role that Walter Matthau played so much better back in 1976 with this new remake of The Bad News Bears, the story of a bad baseball team full of sassy kids who eventually almost become champions.


Thanks to my years in service in the FBI, I can systematically wipe the memories of this movie from my brain since, let’s face it, the sheer existence of this atrocity only harms the memory of the original. Before, I do that though, let’s discuss it.

Following pretty much the story of the orginal, only with half the characterization… The Bad News Bears follows Coach Buttermaker (Thorton) as he leads a team of pee-wee misfits on the baseball diamond. At first, he doesn’t care about the team and the team becomes a laughing stock but then suddenly (and really for no reason) he starts caring again and the team becomes almost champions.


Kids swearing can be funny. Admittedly, I find myself grinning every time I hear an eight-year-old say the word “shit” or “fuck,” so why don’t the foul-mouthed kids of The Bad News Bears make me laugh? I guess it’s because there’s really no innocence behind it. Yeah, I’d have to say that’s it. When a little eight year-old says “fuck,” it’s funny because you can see a little bit of that innocence evaporate in a cloud of laughter. I like that. It makes me feel all tingly. The kids in this remake? They seem like they’re saying written dialogue and nothing more. Not innocent… not funny.

Just annoying.

Not like the original which wasn’t exactly swimming in virtue either, but the remake seems cruder, ruder, and – worst of all – cheaper and more obvious.

The bottom line is, this movie isn’t that funny. Billy Bob Thorton seems to be on autopilot throughout the entire film, Greg Kinnear who plays a rival coach is irritating in a role that is as boring as it is transparent, and the supporting kids just seem too forced to be able to fit into their roles comfortably.

This new movie is just mean spirited as well. There’s no sly winks to the audience, no smiles, and no elbow nudges. The Bad News Bears sets out to be raunchy and ends up being like that annoying cousin you had as a kid. Bothersome, grating, and no matter what… drastically overstaying its welcome.

Thankfully, The Bad News Bears isn’t bad enough to be fully ingrained into your memory so you can just shrug this movie off like it never happened as I intend to do now.

Going… going… going…



Let’s just say that the adjective in the title is truth in advertising.

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.