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Movie Review Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
 January 11, 2005
Grade:  D+
Director:  Rawson Marshall Thurber Released:  June 2004
Writer:  Rawson Marshall Thurber MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Players:  Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Stephen Root, Jason Bateman Running time:  92 minutes
Ratings Methodology


Normally I enjoy Vince Vaughn's movies but he looks like he sleepwalked through this picture.  As if he flat didn't care to star in this movie.  If the truth is the character was intended to come off as apathetic, that was a mistake.  He is the hero, the guy we are supposed to identify with, the guy we are supposed to cheer when he wins.  It's difficult to cheer someone who doesn't seem to care about his own victories or defeats.

Ben Stiller is at his unfunniest playing an over the top "little man" fitness freak who never stops mugging.  Lots of fake attitude and bluster do not a funny character make.  Other obligatory supporting characters that fail to make a comedic dent include The Geek, The Over-the-Hill Guy, The Girl Who Kicks Ass, and The Pirate.  The only person even attempting comedy in this film is Jason Bateman who throws off some sweet one-liners as one of the sportscasters for ESPN8 "The Ocho".  I like how the film hilariously mentions "The Ocho" at every possible opportunity.  I think I'll mention it again right now.  "The Ocho."

[spoilers, highlight hidden text to read]
I don't expect much in the way of plot from a comedy, but the logic at the end of the film is ridiculous.  Why would Peter La Fleur (Vaughn) head to the airport intending to skip the game if he took White Goodman's (Stiller) money and bet it on himself to win?  Was he planning to just throw that money away on a bet he knew he would lose?  Makes no sense.
[end spoilers]

Too many of Dodgeball's jokes are obvious.  When jokes are obvious I don't laugh.  The 2 minute dodgeball scene from Billy Madison is funnier than most of this movie.

- crocoPuffs


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