The dangers inherent in sequel-making are clearly apparent in The Bad News Bears Go to Japan, third in the series of junior baseball antics that began with the smash Bad News Bears in 1976. Producer Michael Ritchie (who directed the first installment) and writer-creator Bill Lancaster encore with Japan resulting in a more vigorous film than the sodden Bad News Bears in Breaking Training .
In keeping with tradition, the boys are taken in by yet another hustler (following in the steps of Walter Matthau and William Devane), this time Tony Curtis as a Hollywood agent out for big bucks via promoting a game between the Bears and the Japanese all-star Little Leaguers.
Formula is strictly standard, with Curtis inviting the enmity of the kids, with exception of moppet Scoody Thornton, only to be reformed before the final game which, of course, the Bears win. Japanese locations at least add a different look, and there is much joking about language and cultural customs, humor that went out of style with Sayonara.