out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
|*Also starring: ||Christine Taylor, Justin Long, Jason Bateman, Michelle Boehle, Cayden Boyd, Brooke Burke, Tate Chalk, Gary Cole, Jamal Duff, Julie Gonzalo||
Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4
In this crazed sports spoof, slobby nice-guy Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn)
has a dilapidated, ramshackle gym called Average Joes, which is, unfortunately,
right across the street from the sleek, successful, high-tech Globo Gym run by
egomaniacal fitness guru White Goodman (Ben Stiller). In order to save his
failing business from foreclosure, LaFleur has to secure $50,000 and, to that
end, he enters his inexperienced team of misfits (Alan Tudyk, Justin Long, Joel
David Moore, Chris Williams) in a dodge-ball championship in Las Vegas, where -
predictably - they'll face Goodman's Purple Cobras, a team of super-buff
players including a Russian Amazon.
Written and directed as a first feature by Rawson Marshall Thurber, it's
simply an adolescent rehash of the lovable-losers-triumph-over-adversity story.
While he's sometimes hilarious, like in "Starsky and Hutch" and "Zoolander,"
Ben Stiller's frantic, caricatured schtick too often gets tedious here.
Instead, it's Jason Bateman of TV's "Arrested Development" who gets the most
laughs as a sportscaster whose patter is filled with non-sequiturs during the
Hank Azaria plays the young Patches O'Houlihan, a legendary dodge ball
champion, whose instructional video touts "the sport of violence, exclusion and
degradation," while Rip Torn is the older, demented Patches, arriving in a
motorized wheelchair to coach the Average Joes. There are cameos by Chuck
Norris and cyclist Lance Armstrong - and for trivia buffs, Stiller's real-life
wife, Christine Taylor, is the bank lawyer who joins the Average Joe's team
after fending off Goodman. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10,, "Dodgeball:
A True Underdog Story" scores a silly, stupid, intermittently funny 6. It's
only 96 minutes long but I'd wait for the video.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger
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