Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
- Rawson Marshall Thurber
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) is just about to lose his little gym if he doesn’t get $50,000 to pay what he owes. If he fails, then the place would go to White Goodman (Ben Stiller), the chauvinistic owner of the huge, technologically advanced gym across the street. Peter then enlists his fervent band of loser-clients in order to compete in the national dodgeball tournament in Vegas, where the first prize is… you guessed it… $50,000!!! Kate (Christine Taylor), a beautiful bank counselor comes to the aid after failing to click with White and his manners.
There you have it. I don’t think premises in the sports genre could come as clichéd and unoriginal. But that’s precisely the point of the movie. Writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber knows what he’s doing and instead of just going for straight laughs he crafts his movie as a satire, filling it with plenty of over-the-top situations and characters.
To be honest, I thought the movie would be better. It starts out dead and continues like this until the team starts to actually train. Then the hilarity level goes up and down and up and down with no particular order during the rest of the movie. There sure are plenty hilarious moments. Watching people get hit by balls is, I have to admit it, kind of fun. And there are some gags that will have you in stitches. Unfortunately that’s not consistent, and there are many times when the movie is flat-out stupid.
The movie also boasts plenty of cameos from people like Hank Azaria, David Hasselhoff, Lance Armstrong, Chuck Norris and William Shatner. Surprisingly, they all work! At least for me they did.
Ben Stiller switches places and this time embodies the movie’s villain. He usually plays the timid, common guy, but this time that role went to his pal Vince Vaughn (who, by the way, is horrible in the movie, and deserves an award for being so flat and uninteresting in his performance), so Stiller gets most of the spotlight and the laughs. His character is too much at times, but his attitude always has a funny gag around the corner to make us laugh. Then again, I though the best performance in the movie belongs to Rip Torn as the guys’ trainer. He gets the best lines and moments.
Funny, but nothing more.
“It’s like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob!”
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