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Overall Rating
3.97

Awesome: 29.05%
Worth A Look52.7%
Just Average: 10.14%
Pretty Crappy: 2.03%
Sucks: 6.08%

9 reviews, 94 user ratings


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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"GO BALLS DEEP!"
4 stars

Dodgeball is the living, breathing example of the anti-Todd Phillips. You’ve heard me talk about him. He’s the righteously untalented filmmaker responsible for Road Trip, Old School and Starsky & Hutch; all hits, all comic crap. Beyond his ability to maintain a sensible laugh quotient for 90 minutes, his most egregious crime is to waste the talents of modern comic masters like Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. Anyone who have seen their short skits together as the MTV Hollywood pitchmen realize that all you need is a room and a rolling camera and they will provide the rest. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber understands that and it’s a large part of why Dodgeball is so damn funny.

Why its taken so long for a movie to use everyone’s favorite (or most feared) childhood gym game as plot fodder is amazing. Years of America’s Funniest Home Videos has proven for years that people getting hit in the nuts is funny, so why not people getting hit in the face…and the body…and the nuts?

Vaughn plays Peter La Fleur, the Sam Malone of a gym known as Average Joe’s that is frequented by the same collection of typical outcasts who have found solace in its ancientness. Right across the street is the local GloboGym, the franchise mastermind of White Goodman (Stiller) who wants to put up a parking lot where the financially challenged Joe’s stands. How else can a ragtag group of misfits raise $50,000? By entering the Dodgeball championship of course! Duh!

If you’re already questioning the validity of Dodgeball’s hokum reality, normally I’d say this isn’t the film for you. However, there’s an interesting middle ground that keeps the material somewhere between satire and sitcom; BASEketball and Brady Bunch. One suspects there probably wasn’t much in the original treatment of the film, only to spring to life once Vaughn and Stiller go off on a barrage of non-sequiturs and inspired improve while a supporting cast of brilliant comic actors add the needed toppings.

It’s nearly impossible to watch Vaughn in Dodgeball and not be reminded of the early days of Bill Murray. Channeling him or not, I can’t think of a higher praise for Vaughn who in his everyman element plays the guy with the most common sense in the room and never passes up an opportunity to comment on everyone and everything going on around him. His flirtatious scenes with (also terrific) Christine Taylor alone will resurface happy memories of the Murray from Meatballs, Stripes and Ghostbusters. Vaughn can easily add this to the list of his best comic performances alongside Swingers and Made.

Of course, yangin’ to Vaughn’s yin is Stiller who loves to turn it up when lashing out as a ridiculous villain. Few can play egotistical stupidity the way he does and Stiller reminds us of why he’s one of the truest comic talents working today in ways that Along Came Polly, Starsky & Hutch and Envy almost made us forget.

Backing these two up are a collection of performers that should be invited to every comedic party. Stephen Root (Office Space) is the henpecked husband who hatches the plan. Jason Bateman (TV’s Arrested Development) and the fabulous Gary Cole (The Brady Bunch films, Office Space) play the ESPN 8 (“The Ocho”) announcers with enough straight-faced hilarity to match them with Fred Willard in Best In Show and the dubbed cohorts of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. Alan Tudyk gets one of the more surreal characters choices as Steve the Pirate whose name pretty much says it all. Last but certainly not least is the great Justin Long (my main man Warren P. Cheswick from TV’s lost gem, Ed) who shows how comic timing can really sell a cheap wrench-in-the-face gag. Perhaps the funniest bit though is courtesy of what has to be the best cameo of the year. Don’t worry, no spoilers here and its just one of many great ones.

The Dodgeball matches are fun without getting terribly exciting. The average match seems to last under three minutes and the network coverage probably lasts just a bit longer than a Lakers/Pistons series. Wokka! What the film isn’t short on is laughs and it has all the checkmarks of a classic in the making. It moves with breakneck speed and never quits on delivering a couple laughs in every scene. Thurber (who also helmed the classic Terry Tate: Office Linebacker commercials) making his feature debut handles everything with equal aplomb, even if his job was merely to say “Action!” When you’ve got Vaughn and Stiller in their element, it’s the only word a director needs in his vocabulary.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10085&reviewer=198
originally posted: 06/17/04 23:59:32
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User Comments

5/12/11 RLan I was happily surprised by how much I liked this movie. 4 stars
5/05/11 dupadoit it rules 4 stars
12/18/09 Jeff Wilder Hilarious spoof of those underdog sports movies. 4 stars
7/19/09 MP Bartley Plenty of good-natured belly laughs and a fairly compelling sports film underneath. 4 stars
7/07/09 *Holy_J@lapeno* Had its funny moments. The ending was pretty predictable but a good overall movie 4 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner This film is hilarious!! 5 stars
3/21/08 Pamela White average Joes rule the world 4 stars
6/19/07 johnnyfog Thanks, Chuck Norris 5 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller Straight up brings the funny; I laughed my ass off - "Pepper needs new shorts!" 5 stars
1/11/07 R.W.Welch C+ gagfest. Mostly on target, occasionally overshoots. 3 stars
12/04/06 Stanley Thai It's funny. It's crude. It's a good film... 4 stars
10/02/06 bullit16 Outstanding! 5 stars
5/06/06 Cuenzie Wunzie Hilariously great A+ comedy 5 stars
3/19/06 Jim An employment program for out of work celebs. Bateman & Cole steal movie as announcers. 3 stars
3/01/06 chris f very funny film i loved it 5 stars
1/09/06 whatevr The shizz-nite! 5 stars
11/28/05 BEN YODER dodgeball is exstreamly tasteless and lame. Ben stiller really needs to stop 1 stars
9/08/05 Tom Burns Hilarious! 5 stars
9/06/05 Fleetwood The best movie i havever seen, top shit 5 stars
8/18/05 ES Funny, worth the watch 4 stars
7/26/05 Kankasaur paraplegics should respect themselves, we play MURDERBALL, & we don't dodge traffic so well 5 stars
7/24/05 kaitlin j. vince vaughn is amazing 5 stars
7/17/05 amanda hollywood, women should respect themselves, we are not sex objects 1 stars
7/17/05 TheRedDevil The funniest film ever, 2nd to none 5 stars
7/11/05 sbpat21 very funny 4 stars
5/25/05 tony AWSOME MOVIE. i cried laughing at home and in the theater. Byfar the best stiller movie yet 5 stars
5/08/05 Spencer Paulin I think that it was the best ever and the funest in the hole wide world i watched it alot. 5 stars
5/05/05 Phil 80% of laughs come from "Man getting hit in groin". But Stiller is excellent 2 stars
4/03/05 Charlie Ben Stiller's great in Dodgeball. 4 stars
3/29/05 Richard Pryor great movie 5 stars
2/19/05 lj really funny--loved it 4 stars
2/14/05 Bobby da Squid There're only so many times that hitting somebody in the face or nads is funny 3 stars
2/08/05 nannette ryan I thought the movie was funny. The acting could have been better but it will give a laugh 4 stars
2/07/05 Kitina Blues it was ok...vince vaughn is soooooo hot!!! :) 4 stars
2/04/05 youreo The plot leaves you wondering, but these guys could sit in a room and sell tix. Funny! 4 stars
1/27/05 Jack Scallops You can dodge a wrench, You can't dodge this film 5 stars
1/18/05 Jeff Anderson HOPELESSLY BAD! A lame rip-off of BASEKETBALL, 10 times more funnier than this STINKBOMB!!! 1 stars
1/18/05 Ironwit Too funny for real 5 stars
12/24/04 Freddy I expected more. Only laughed hard at the wrench throw 2 stars
12/24/04 Phil M. Aficionado Funny in spots, goofy throughout. Excellent bit parts by several 3 stars
12/18/04 Nicole I was excited to see this - when I finally did I was disappointed 3 stars
12/12/04 KCobain Almost as bad as Zoolander. Tasteless humor that isn't funny. 2 stars
12/06/04 Albie Worth watching once 3 stars
11/20/04 Kristina Williams pretty funny...liked Zoolander better, though 4 stars
11/15/04 Littlepurch Not as good as everyone says but still enjoyable and funny. Rip Torn steals show. 4 stars
10/24/04 hudson great 5 stars
10/23/04 Matt It was the funniest i wish i had inflatable dick too!! 5 stars
10/17/04 Miles Morley Gotta love the dodgewrench scene. Ben Stiller your stellar! 5 stars
10/05/04 William very very very very exellent 5 stars
9/26/04 Ghetto Smurf Fuckin' Chuck Norris. 5 stars
9/24/04 BilFroth THIS is a funny movie 5 stars
9/09/04 bin ladan I say it is what I really wanted to see 4 stars
9/02/04 jennifer thank you 4 stars
8/17/04 Car wash girls' butts best part Christine Taylor better as Marcia Brady; her hubby better as protagonists. 3 stars
8/02/04 Kitina Blues for vince vaughn...he's adorable!!! 5 stars
7/31/04 Kathryn Knowlton Very funny 4 stars
7/23/04 Sandy Turynowicz funny 4 stars
7/16/04 Mimi I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. 5 stars
7/08/04 S.f. Typical Stiller film. Funny! 4 stars
7/07/04 jenny this movie sucked i mean really sucked you people don't know good movies 1 stars
7/07/04 Mary This movie was very very funny! It's definitely worth seeing. 5 stars
7/07/04 Denise Duspiva Seemed like it was going to be stupid and it was but it is also funny 4 stars
7/04/04 Jeff Semlow Laughed from begining to end. Vince Vaughn rules! 5 stars
7/03/04 ZenCow Has some solid laughs but overall it's pretty tame. The angle about the pirate is strange. 4 stars
7/01/04 A F Gotta love the Joe prevails over Cobra, G I Joe reference. GOOO JOE! But a let down. 3 stars
6/30/04 DEVEREUX MORING 1 stars
6/30/04 elizaveta solid laughs AND the guy from 'Arrested Development'! FUN 5 stars
6/30/04 Melina Very enjoyable! 4 stars
6/29/04 Spinz This movie was kinda funny, but i always think Ben Stiller is! 4 stars
6/27/04 Katie O You know you shouldn't be laughing, but you are...and you are a hell of a lot! 5 stars
6/26/04 Gar Hilarious. I haven't enjoyed a comedy as much in years!!! 4 stars
6/25/04 Thomas Pacheco This was one of the better Ben Stiller films. 4 stars
6/24/04 Dougie Whitey This is an unfunny film that is insultingly bad. Nose picking is funnier than this crap! 1 stars
6/24/04 KingNeutron Some og it is just WRONG, but mostly funny. Vaughn is more like Chevy Chase. 3 stars
6/24/04 Mr boner I pissed myself silly. Make sure you're nice and stoned! 5 stars
6/23/04 charles lindquist benstiller is funny 5 stars
6/23/04 Titus With a little more pirate, and a little less Ben Stiller, that would be perfect. 4 stars
6/22/04 Paul This movie blew. Gettin hit in the nuts isn't that funny...really... 1 stars
6/22/04 ShakeZulah I haven't laughed as hard in at least five years. Comic gem! 5 stars
6/21/04 aerr qwer 5 stars
6/21/04 jason laughed thru the whole thing 5 stars
6/21/04 the truth cut-n-paste bs. yrs ago this site would have slaughtered this crap. the hell happened here? 1 stars
6/21/04 maxomai Fantastic slapstic. Corny. 4 stars
6/21/04 Johnboy I laughed all the way thru 5 stars
6/21/04 Scott Sheppard I actually was trying to keep my girlfriend awake the whole time. 1 stars
6/21/04 ajay funny, I laughed.. it's *barely* a "Worth A Look". 4 stars
6/20/04 TimmyToday People getting hit in the nuts is even funnier!!! 4 stars
6/20/04 andon People getting hit in the face with rubberballs is funny. Period. Go see it. 4 stars
6/19/04 Heidialyssa A good, funny summer movie. 4 stars
6/19/04 jon this movie was freakin hilarious 5 stars
6/19/04 Desperado very funny, defintely recommended 4 stars
6/18/04 Alex Great 5 stars
6/18/04 Emily I loved the Movie 4 stars
6/18/04 me a good film had some funny parts in it. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Jun-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 02-Aug-2005

UK
  27-Aug-2004 (12A)

Australia
  09-Sep-2004 (M)




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