CORPORATE LINE: Dukes’s career ended in shame after he “wiped” in a competition–yes, even the rugged Dukes wasn’t above a little cheating, rubbing off a clear splash of paintball and continuing with the game as if he hadn’t been hit. After 10 years in the paintball wilderness, Dukes returns to his hometown determined to assemble a kick-ass paintball team that will destroy everyone else in sight. There’s just one problem: no self-respecting paintballer will go anywhere near Dukes, so he has to scrape together a team from some of the biggest misfits he can find, most of whom are more likely to paintball themselves or each other instead of gunning down the opposition.
A spoof of the sports movie genre that also has a lot in common with Christopher Guest movies such as BEST IN SHOW, BLACKBALLED is a neat vehicle for Corddry’s first starring role in a motion picture. The supporting cast is mostly culled from the impressive improv comedy troup the Upright Citizens Brigade, and director Brant Sersen keeps the laughs coming thick and fast throughout. Sure, there are a few misfires, but the cast mostly hits the target with their mixture of carefully scripted material and quickfire improvisations, making BLACKBALLED a low-budget gem.
THE REVIEW: Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story is a mockumentary that tries to play too long on an extremely weak story line. Don’t be confused by Cordrry work on the Daily Show. Sure, the movie tries to go for that same ridiculousness while being serious but never brings the same level of jokes. Blackballed tries to have a documentary sensibility but the characters are so unbelievable that you never laugh at the satire. There are a few laughs to be had—but they come far too little.
THE EXTRAS: There are two commentaries. The first is with Rob Corddry, Paul Scheer, and Rob Riggle. The second commentary is with filmmakers Brant Sersen, Brian Steinberg, and Chris Lechler. There are a few outtakes, deleted scenes, and finally a featurette entitled “Bobby Duke’s Video Diary”.
FRANKLY: Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story lacks laughs and a story. Maybe the very few fans of paintball will pick up a few more things—but as for the rest of us being in the dark makes the movie even less enjoyable.
+ Charlie Craine