Starring:Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Vince Vaughn Manufacturer:Fox Home Entertainme Released:24 May, 2005 Watched: 07/04/04 St. Anthony Main 7:00pm Score: 5
Ben Stiller in a movie about the little guy beating the big guy that is supposed to be funny. You have to go into this movie not expecting much, it’s obviously a movie aimed at the immature crowd. Surprisingly, it refrained from the easiest of wisecracks and went on to be genuinely entertaining to watch.
When Di brought up the idea of going to a movie on Independence Day I was surprised - I hadn’t expected she would be one to sit in a theater on a day where there were lots of street vendors to look through and peruse their selection. Perhaps it was the heat, or the fact that we can’t really buy anything from the vendors made her suggest it. Passing up a chance at a movie is something I don’t do often - but did the St. Anthony Main movie theater have the right movie playing for such a day? In order to match the mood, the movie should not require thought, and take cheap shots whenever it can, and have no impact whatsoever on later thinking. You need to be lazy on Independence Day - it’s the American thing to do! Indeed the perfect movie was playing: Dodgeball.
Approaching Dodgeball expecting a good movie is something no sane person should do. It is Ben Stiller, but not everything from him can be Zoolander quality, and as TBS has shown us it even it wasn’t that great. You must go in with lowered expectations - expecting to see the kind of movie that you can walk out of the theater and act as if you never walked in, and be proud.
The story is fairly formulaic - Big Corporation Mega-Gym is buying out Small Time Cozy Gym for no reason except out of spite. Of course the Small Time Gym has financial issues, mostly because of the owner’s (Vince Vaughn) lack of accounting skills. The heroization of this guy in such a short time just because he’s stupid is a forewarning of the general level of intelligence that the rest of the movie’s jokes require, which mostly revolve around some sexual issue.
Anyway the “only” way that they can get the money to save the gym is to enter a dodgeball tournament. They join and learn how to play (honestly, who doesn’t know how to play dodgeball?), but of course they suck so they hire a coach (excellently played by Rip Torn) and we get more antics of the “ouch that had to hurt” variety. The movie ends with Big Shot Gym guy getting his comeuppins, of course.
If it weren’t for the good actors in this movie which include excellent performances by Stephen Root and Allen Tudyk, it would be something that monkeys should be flinging at walls. However, they all have a good sense of comedic timing, which makes the jokes not completely unbearable. This movie gets a number in the sit on the couch at a party and watch (if there’s nothing else to do)range, a 5.