Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

"Weak"

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story Review


Each summer, a handful of big budget blockbusters vie for box office supremacy at theaters across the country and around the globe. This year is no exception, as Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and Shrek duke it out for the top draw, another, less prestigious fight will take place. And I can already tell you that Dodgeball is a strong contender for the title of this summer's biggest throw-away movie.

From the word go, Dodgeball has a few fundamental weaknesses that would make the movie itself -- not just its storyline -- a true underdog story. First off, it's a Ben Stiller vehicle. And like most Stiller vehicles, it more closely resembles a tricycle than a car. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it's written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the creative genius behind the 2002 comedy Terry Tate: Office Linebacker.

All this isn't to say Dodgeball isn't funny. It is. In much the same way spending an evening with a bunch of drunk jocks who tell nothing but nad jokes is both amusing and forgettable, Dodgeball delivers the humor by relentlessly lowering the bar until, sooner or later, even the most stoic film snob will eventually surrender a chortle. I, for one, chuckled almost constantly throughout the film. Some of the jokes are just too retarded to resist.

For those who think it matters, this is the story of a small-time gym owner named Peter (Vince Vaughn) who runs a fitness center called Average Joe's. Despite the name, the gym caters not to ordinary people but to a handful of rejects who simply won't fit in anywhere else. But Joe's is not all paradise and glamour; failure to collect membership dues or perform any of the other duties normally associated with running a business has put the gym in serious fiscal jeopardy. Now Peter must raise fifty grand to avoid losing Average Joe's to his evil arch-rival, White Goodman (Ben Stiller). With the fitness goals of six abject losers hanging in the balance, the patrons of Average Joe's form a dodgeball team in a last-ditch effort to save their gym.

Within this story is the frequently implied notion that regular people should be proud of who they are and give up absurd concepts of beauty that are foisted upon them by the fitness industry. It's a pleasant enough idea, but like the 2001 Jack Black comedy Shallow Hal, Dodgeball repeatedly sacrifices its message whenever the opportunity to crack a joke presents itself. So, rather than championing ordinary people, it just makes fun of freaks. Even so, it's pretty funny.

Along the way, a parade of celebrity cameos lends a befuddling air of legitimacy to the film. William Shatner, Chuck Norris, and David Hasselhoff make appearances. Even Lance Armstrong steps in to lend Peter a little guidance in his time of need. But despite this outside help, however, Dodgeball isn't likely to live long in anyone's memory. It's a one-joke script that will probably make you laugh for an hour or so. But the next day you'll be hard pressed to remember what movie you saw.

The DVD includes a full length commentary, alternate and deleted scenes (with a dramatically different alternate ending that no studio in its right mind would have allowed), a gag reel, and a few making-of featurettes.

On your mark, get set, make a phallic joke!



Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th June 2004

Box Office USA: $114.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $167.7M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Fresh: 113 Rotten: 48

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Peter La Fleur, as Kate Veatch, as White Goodman, as Patches O'Houlihan, as Justin, as Pepper Brooks, as Gordon, as Owen, as Dwight, as Steve the Pirate, as Fran, Jamal Duff as Me'Shell Jones, as Cotton McKnight, as Young Patches O'Houlihan, Al Kaplon as Tournament Referee

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.