Despite a script by the originator of THE BAD NEWS BEARS (Lancaster), production handled by the director of that movie (Ritchie), and the presence of several actos from the first two films, this third entry in the "Bad News Bears" cycle never gets to first base. It's somewhat more

energetic than the previous year's BREAKING TRAINING, and the Japanese locations are a plus, but so much silliness has been substituted for the solid situations and characterizations of the original that it's hard to believe the same people had anything to do with both pictures. This time around,

the Bears--guided by Curtis, a shifty wheeler-dealer who is reformed by his young charges--venture to the Land of the Rising Sun to take on the Japanese Little League champions. When the pressures imposed by all-too-competitive adults become more than they can handle, the Bears and their Japanese

counterparts play the game on their own, fair and square.