Complete A-Z list

Game Plan, The


Stars: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Madison Pettis, Roselyn Sanchez, Kyra Sedgwick, Morris Chestnut, Paige Turco, Gordon Clapp

Director: Andy Fickman

Now that Dakota Fanning and Abigail Breslin are getting on a bit (Abigail's pushing 12 and Dakota a frightening 14), there's room for another Hollywood moppet star to impress us with her naturalistic acting and inborn charm in the Shirley Temple tradition. So step forward Madison Pettis, a curly-top cutie who, at nine, still has a couple of years to improve that annoyingly tinny little voice and beguile us with performances like this one.

She's Peyton Kelly, one half of an odd couple double-act that also features 'The Rock' Johnson (so billed, we're told, for the last time) as an egocentric football player and Elvis Presley nut who, in the true tradition of such weepie-comedy-dramas, is saddled with a daughter he doesn't want and didn't know he had.

Good family fun ensues, with the genial Johnson displaying a pleasing sense of self-deprecating comedy and Kyra Sedgwick enjoyably over the top as his avaricious agent. OK, it's predictable - most will see through Peyton's scheme after a few minutes - and, like most American comedies these days, way too long, but by and large its game plan works a treat.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 06 Mar 2008