Dodgeball

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Dodgeball
Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Jason Bateman, Rip Torn
Studio: Fox
Rating: 5/10

THE GOOD: Dodgeball is a guilty pleasure. It’s a comedy for high school guys and that’s really all you need to know.

THE BAD: Stiller is the king of making bad movies funny. Although you will laugh this is a bad, bad movie. Is it the classic underdog story? If they say so. The only thing classic about it is that you can watch a similar premise every night on TBS, TNT, and any other channel that repeats bad movies from the ‘80s. It’s beyond formulaic; Dodgeball doesn’t try to hide how bad it is. Does that make it sharp and witty? No. It makes it more intolerable.

Stiller, Adam Sandler, and David Spade know what suckers Hollywood is for awful formula pictures as it reminds them of decades past. When are these guys going to do something original? These three have run the underdog story into the ground.

Stiller isn’t funny. This is the same character he’s played a million times before but with a different attitude and outfit. The rest of the cast sleepwalks through the film. It’s obvious the cast knows the film is bad so why be inspired to work hard? The only one that looks like he’s trying is Stiller—to bad he’s trying too hard.

DVD FEATURES: Four feaurettes top the extras: four featurettes: “Dodgeball Boot Camp: Training for Dodgeball,” “Justin Long: A Study In Ham And Cheese,” “Dodgeball: Go For The Gold,” and “The Anatomy of a Hit.” Hardly interesting considering it isn’t a great movie and let’s be honest, dodgeball doesn’t take a lot of brain cells to play so do we really need instructions on how to pick up a ball and throw and then move so we don’t get blasted in the face? Nope.

The commentary by director Rawson Marshall Thurber isn’t exceedingly interesting nor is the commentary that includes Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Too often you can’t follow what they are talking about and half the time it doesn’t really matter. The deleted scenes weren’t all that great and either is the alternate ending.

FRANKLY: Dodgeball not only fills the screen with every racial cliché in the book—Japanese dodgeball players wearing sumo-diapers (a country that is practically light years in tech than ourselves) to a Russian player who is uglier than the dogfaced boy right onto the rich gym owner who has rocks for brains right down to the loser who wins it all in the end. If you want to take a big red rubber ball off the kisser than spend your $8 and check out Dodgeball—otherwise rent out a real underdog story like Rocky or Rudy.

+ Charlie Craine