Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (DVD, 2008, 2-Disc Set, Checkpoint; Includes Digital Copy; Sensormatic;W)

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Dodgeball : If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge this movie

Jul 6, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:lines between Stiller and Vaughn, some very funny moments, Rip Torn as Patches O'Houlihan

Cons:uninventive opponents, entire Pirate sub-story, blatant foreshadowing

The Bottom Line: Dodgeball is a funny movie, BUT it lacks most things that would make it a good movie.


Instead of reading the whole review to find my final opinion of the movie, I am going to tell it to you in the second sentence. I found this to be a poorly made movie, with crude humor, and uninspired acting, but still found it to be funny, and find myself recommending that people see it for that and nothing else. Hard to believe as it may be, I am giving this movie 2 out of 5 stars, and saying that it is worth seeing at a matinee, or rental price. The jokes are telegraphed, and at times they are way over-the-top, but at the same time, the method with which the main characters deliver them can leave you holding your sides in from laughing too hard.


Dodgeball is a formulaic comedy in which a group of lesser individuals must overcome a great obstacle, in order to save something that they hold dear. Think of Revenge of the Nerds , and how they had to overcome a fraternity that wanted them run out of the college. Only in this instance, we have a competitive gym that wants the people running a smaller gym put out of business. Those from the smaller gym must stand together as one against the bigger entity, and hopefully are able to be victorious in their goals. Just like in "Nerds", we have a group of characters with defining characteristics, and also the type of people that would want to belong to a private gym, and not a corporation.


Vince Vaughn stars as Peter La Fleur, the owner of "Average Joe's Gym." This is a neighborhood gymnasium, in which Vaughn provides a workout area for people from around the city. He is a laid back owner, who has not collected dues for many months, and his dedicated members always stand behind him. The only problem, is that the dues were needed to pay the bills, and he is suddenly way behind on a defaulted mortgage. He must now come up with $50,000 within 30 days, or he is going to lose his gym to the bank. This is unfortunate, because he seems like a guy that cares more about the people using his gym than he does about making money off of it. His dire financial situation results in the bank sending out a financial whiz to find out why the problems exist.


That bank employee is played by Christine Taylor, and you can immediately sense some chemistry between her character and La Fleur. It is her intent to find out where the gym went wrong in its financial transactions, and she is quick to figure out where they went wrong with their money. The situation for the gym becomes even worse when it turns out that a rival gym has bought up the mortgage on their gym, in an attempt to put it out of business and build a parking structure in its place. The owner of Globo Gym (the purchaser) is none other than Ben Stiller in his 6th movie of the year. Stiller plays White Goodman, who has had a past with La Fleur that is elaborated later on in the movie, but for the moment, wants only to put him out of business.


The $50,000 mortgage amount comes due in 30 days, and it has to be paid or La Fleur will lose the gym to Goodman. All seems lost, until a member of "Average Joe's" remembers an article that he read in his Obscure Sports Magazine, that tells of a dodgeball tournament that will be coming up with a $50,000 prize to the winners. Go figure that it is the exact amount needed to cover the mortgage. Having run out of options, La Fleur decides that this is not such a bad idea after all, and puts together a dodgeball team from members of his gym. From there we are taken through the motions of a very predictable story, with very transparent characters in a plot that has been done before.


If you stand back and critique this film as a whole, you come to the conclusion that not only is it terribly made, but it has all the drama of watching paint dry. If you have seen the movie "Baseketball", then you have already seen where the stereotype filled teams from this movie have come from. The only thing that makes this movie even slightly watchable, is the comedic element. With Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn at the center of nearly every joke, some of the scenes are so funny, that you miss a couple of lines laughing out loud. There are a lot of scenes like that in the film as well, as we are treated to some very funny conversations between Stiller and Vaughn.


As I stated at the beginning of this review, I think that this is a terrible movie, but in the realm of joke-telling, it is worth seeing. That may seem to be a sort of paradox when it comes to movie viewing, but you just have to have a specific mind-set going in. Just know that while this is not a well-made movie, nor will you want to see it again, yet it does have a comedic element that makes it worth seeing that first time. With a lot of one-liners and quotes that you will remember long after seeing the film, Stiller is actually pretty good in his role. However, if you are looking for a film where Stiller actually does shine stick with Meet The Parents. One final thought, is that you need to make sure you stay through the credits, because there are a couple of scenes at the end that make it worth the wait.


Recommend this product? Yes

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