Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: "DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story" is Still Funny (Happy B'day, Ben Stiller)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 100 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Running time: 92 minutes (1 hour, 32 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for rude and sexual humor, and language
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Rawson Marshall Thurber
PRODUCERS: Stuart Cornfeld and Ben Stiller
EDITOR: Alan Baumgarten and Peter Teschner
COMPOSER: Theodore Shapiro

COMEDY/SPORTS with elements of romance

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Stephen Root, Joel David Moore, Chris Williams, Alan Tudyk, Missi Pyle, Jamal E. Duff, Gary Cole, Jason Bateman, Al Kaplon, Curtis Armstrong, and Hank Azaria with (cameos) Lance Armstrong, Chuck Norris, and William Shatner

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story is a 2004 sports comedy set in the world of competitive dodgeball. Ben Stiller is one of the film’s producers and is also one of the movie’s stars. DodgeBall follows an underdog dodgeball team and their rivalry with a powerhouse team from a big-budget gym.

A group of misfits band together and enter a dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas in order to save their cherished gym, Average Guy Gym. The gym owner, Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn), is not an ambitious guy, but he reluctantly joins his friends/customers to go after the $50,000 championship prize.

This prize money will save his gym from foreclosure, where upon it will end up in the hands of Global Gym and its owner, White Goodman (Ben Stiller). When Goodman learns that Peter’s friends will compete in the tournament and that Peter is also dating an attorney (Christine Taylor) he desires, Goodman assembles a killer team of hired muscle to compete in the Las Vegas tournament against Peter and his friends.

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story is absolutely hilarious. It’s witty, sarcastic, lewd, crude, snarky, and unabashedly lowbrow, but ultimately it’s the kind of belly laugh comedy that doesn’t come around often enough. It’s not high art; it’s the love child of such films as Caddyshack and Revenge of the Nerds. Vince Vaughn, once destined to be a matinee idol, has turned out to be a funny comic actor who gets plenty of mileage out of dry wit and dead pan humor, and though he is warmer than he is hot in this film, he makes DodgeBall.

Anyone who can not take DodgeBall seriously and has the kind of sense of humor that finds a film like Dude, Where’s My Car? funny will like this.

6 of 10

2005 Razzie Awards: 1 nomination: “Worst Actor” (Ben Stiller)


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