Paramount // 2002 // 88 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // June 25th, 2004
Meet America's New First Family!
The Brady Bunch is back and ready to take over the nation, in the third installment of the film series (culled from the original 1970s sitcom). This time around Mike Brady (Gary Cole, Office Space) has been promoted from the drawing room as an architect to the Oval Office as President of the United States of America! When Bobby finds a winning lottery ticket worth $67 million dollars in a lost wallet, Mike insists that the owner must be found. With the help of his ever doting wife, Carol (Shelly Long, TV's Cheers), and their bevy of children (including Greg, Peter, Marsha, Jan, et cetera), the Brady clan set out to do the right thing and find the ticket's rightful owner. Invited to the White House for their commendable honesty, Mike is thrust into the Presidency when the current President is impeached because of a scandal. With Mike running the country and Carol at his side as the First Lady / Vice President, nostalgia reigns supreme in the most powerful shag carpeted house in the nation. But when America is threatened by an enormous asteroid heading towards earth, can Mike Brady and his Bunch save the planet before it's too late?
After watching the first two Brady movies, The Brady Bunch and A Very Brady Sequel, I was a bit disappointed at how poorly they'd aged. While I still laughed in spots, I wasn't as amused the second time around. It could be that, like its source material, the movies feel like they're stuck in a time (the 1990s) that seems long since past.
Suffice it to say, The Brady Bunch in the White House is basically a pale imitation of the two previous films. Gone is the bite and wit the filmmakers tried to infuse into the material. This time around, the Brady's '70s mentality clashing with 2002 isn't half as fun to witness. While there are a few moments that are amusing (as when one of Marsha's friends ask if she likes Eminem and she responds "yes, but not the blue ones"), overall this is a fairly bland reworking of the Brady movie formula.
However, if you see this movie for only one reason, make it for Gary Cole's impeccable impersonation of Robert Reed, the original Mike Brady. Channeling Reed's self-assured ramblings, Cole's Mike Brady has been the true highlight of the entire series (though Long's Carol Brady gives Cole a run for his money). For this second sequel, the filmmakers have decided to cast different actors for the Brady children. Surprisingly, Autumn Reeser (The Girl Next Door) fills the narcissistic shoes of Marsha well. The rest of the kids all do an admirable job, but look like second bananas when compared to the kids who came before them.
The laughs don't come fast and furious in The Brady Bunch in the White House, and that's a shame, since the idea of the Brady Bunch in the White House has some scathing potential. Maybe it's time the Brady Bunch stepped aside and made room for the coveted "Cousin Oliver" movie I've been waiting so long to see.
The Brady Bunch in the White House is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer on this disc is good, but not great. The biggest problem is The Brady Bunch in the White House feels like what it is: a made-for-TV movie. Most of the scenes feature solid colors and dark black levels. There are a few instances where the images don't look so great (it's as if they used stock footage for a dozen or so shots), though overall I wasn't expecting much so I guess this is better than nothing.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in English. There isn't a lot going on in this mix worth writing about -- the dialogue, music and sound effects are well represented without much hiss or distortion. Since this is your standard sub-par comedy, a Dolby 5.1 remix was not warranted. No alternate subtitles or soundtracks are available on this disc.
Not surprisingly, The Brady Bunch in the White House is void of any extra features. In fact, this disc didn't even get the usual English subtitles! Why do all of the other discs get subtitles?
Subtitles, subtitles, SUBTITLES!
Review content copyright © 2004 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13