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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 8%
Just Average: 12%
Pretty Crappy: 20%
Sucks: 26.67%

4 reviews, 51 user ratings

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Benchwarmers, The
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by brianorndorf

"It is what it is, and as junk, it isn't all that bad"
3 stars

While watching “Benchwarmers,” I kept thinking the film could’ve been a lot worse. Yes, it traffics in the lowbrow humor that is an Adam Sandler staple, but it’s a slick, easy to swallow comedy with the occasional hilarious bit of absurdist gold up its sleeve.

After witnessing a local little league team bully a nerd who just wanted to play baseball, Gus (Rob Schneider) challenges the kids to a game to settle the score for freaks everywhere. Recruiting his friends, video store geek Richie (David Spade), and mama’s boy Clark (Jon Heder), Gus takes his ragtag team on the road, challenging all comers who want to prove themselves against this hopeless trio.

Well, outside of the jokes about nose-picking, animal feces, small genitalia, homophobia, little people, agoraphobia, urinating in the shower, flatulence, and co-starring the reigning king of unfunny, Jon Heder, “Benchwarmers” is actually a lighthearted, passably funny motion picture.

This baseball flick comes from the Adam Sandler factory, and he’s called up two of his best players to write the screenplay: stand-up comic Nick Swardson and Happy Madison regular Allen Covert. This duo also wrote last January’s barely acceptable “Grandma’s Boy,” so they know the ins and outs of fundamental dumb comedy, along with playing directly to Sandler’s core audience. The recipe for Sandler-esque cinema isn’t complicated; it usually involves a lot of falling down, laughing at the weak, and a substantial amount of bodily function humor. He can also be counted on for some of the best non sequitur humor in the business today, but “Benchwarmers” is more interested in how many fingers it can shove up a nose than to try anything inventively sneaky.

The film is intended for pre-teen boys, leaving the writers and director Dennis Dugan (“Happy Gilmore,” “Big Daddy”) little room to go for the throat. Sadly, a good chunk of “Benchwarmers” is devoted to poo-poo, pee-pee, and general baseball-to-groin comedy, which plays hard to the mouthbreathers, but leaves out the critical fun factor for everyone else. Sure, watching Heder dig for gold (which, wait for it, he eventually eats) will make a child laugh, but how about trying to make everyone laugh? Sandler is actually capable of achieving this, but his presence here is only as a producer. A shame.

Better is the film’s attention to the three moronic lead characters, as they learn the skills of the sport (even of their hands have to taped to the bat) and bask in the riches of their manager, the “Star Wars” loving billionaire, Mel (Jon Lovitz). Letting the actors spaz around the field in the game montages is admittedly pretty fun footage, sold with typical snarky shine by Spade (who looks like he’s having real fun here), and a strangely restrained performance by Schneider. As for Heder, I’ll be kind and say this: remind me where the appeal is again? As one-note an actor as they make ‘em these days, Heder makes Rob Schneider look like a graduate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Keep on pickin’ away, Jon. All the way to obscurity.

The more absurdist gags are still here in the film, just tucked away in the corners so not to distract from moments where Spade gets wailed in the testicles with an errant rock. I loved seeing the richly gifted Swardson in a supporting role as Richie’s agoraphobic brother, who thinks the sun is a monster awaiting his every move. There’s also a goofy throwaway bit with the team’s statistician: a 10 year-old with a spitting problem when he speaks. A final act plot turn, where Gus confronts a mentally iffy little person he bullied as a child, doesn’t quite have the hilarity the writers believe it does, but it’s a small road bump in a pretty slickly paced movie.

“Benchwarmers” is a truly dumb comedy (even for kids), but in that respect, it’s agreeable, even if the film itself doesn’t aspire to even that softball level of praise.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14295&reviewer=404
originally posted: 04/07/06 23:56:17
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User Comments

5/11/16 David Hollingsworth I would rather see someone getting a colonoscopy than see this crap. 1 stars
4/18/11 Luisa Not a bad movie at all, I thought it was hilarious!!Jon Heder n Swardson so funny. 4 stars
6/14/10 LINDA DOWDY corny...idiotic 1 stars
8/12/08 Jon G lame fest 2 stars
4/06/08 Alex good, but not the greatest sports comedy ever. watch the sandlot instead. 3 stars
3/26/08 Jack Sommersby One of the worst so-called comedies ever made, with Heden a simply insidious screen persona 1 stars
10/21/07 Beau Could only stand watching the first 15 minutes, childish, pointless, tastless humour! 1 stars
6/07/07 John i cant believe people say this movie is bad, it is a little childish but its still good 5 stars
4/24/07 Tiffany Losco funny, silly, loved it 5 stars
3/11/07 Jeff Anderson Terrible "comedy" saved only by Lovitz & yes Jon, this movie WAS a complete waste of time! 1 stars
12/06/06 Nikki aww good times are to be had for all when watching this... its a favourite of mine for sure 5 stars
11/26/06 Edler Idiotic but hilarious! 5 stars
11/11/06 Amanda hahaha Howie is so cute eating his little tube of sunscreen hahahaha 5 stars
11/10/06 stephen the most hilairious flim ive ever seen probly 5 stars
10/31/06 jade o wat the fuk how could anyone class this movie as hilarious it's tottaly bolloks 1 stars
10/24/06 Andrew Katzenberger I thought this movie was stupid so that makes me smarter than all you idiots that liked it. 4 stars
10/13/06 Ang Absolutely hilarious; u haven't a sense of humor if you hate it 5 stars
10/10/06 kristyn I recon it is the best movie ever...mostly thanks to howie! 5 stars
10/08/06 Kate One of my favorite movies. 5 stars
10/05/06 alex you had 3 good reaons not to go see this one and they were all on the poster.keep it on... 1 stars
10/04/06 yerh fuckin funny 5 stars
9/28/06 G-unit fuckin awesome 5 stars
9/26/06 Erin Amidon Best cinematic baseball moments since Ashley Judd got beaned in SIMON BIRCH. 4 stars
9/22/06 Indrid Cold A few laughs, mostly thanks to Heder. Not worth a look though. 2 stars
8/13/06 katie Its the best movie ever! ive seen it 20 times 5 stars
8/13/06 Ryan_A Another Crappy Madison production. Heder continues to waste his Napoleon Dynamite goodwill 1 stars
8/05/06 The Hater Only a truly stupid person would like this. There're too many fake "Awesome" comments here. 1 stars
7/31/06 Joe When Rob Schneider's the best part of the film, you know you're in trouble. Skip it. 1 stars
7/10/06 TaTNaHa XapKOB Yes, a very good farce. It does try being too moralistic by end. 4 stars
6/30/06 Kayla Farnsworth Awesome until it starts taking itself too seriously, then lame thereafter. 4 stars
6/27/06 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne EricDSnider's worst nightmare -- blast blast blast! And I loved it! Hilarious! 5 stars
5/27/06 shelby halarious 5 stars
5/23/06 Lindsay Absolutely amazing 5 stars
5/22/06 tori savage this movie was awsome and i cant wait until it comes out on video so that i can but it. 5 stars
5/03/06 Hydrogen A disconnected joke book, not a movie. Miss it. 2 stars
4/30/06 Hannah It was hilarious and the best movie ever 5 stars
4/27/06 Quigley had its moments, but overall, it was pretty nasty. the three leads were good, though 3 stars
4/24/06 =) loveee the movie !!! 5 stars
4/22/06 Chris How anyone can like this stupid mindless trash is so far beyond me, ITS TOTAL SHIT 1 stars
4/18/06 Kayla This movie was the funniest movie i've seen in a long time. You have to see it! 5 stars
4/15/06 alyx It was hilarious. the whole theater was rolling. Haven't been to one of those ina long time 5 stars
4/15/06 Becca It was fricken awesome and now I know what everyone has been talking about. 5 stars
4/15/06 Cathye Disgusting 1 stars
4/14/06 Scott I dont know why everyone hates it so much. i thought it was awesome. 5 stars
4/12/06 San Lamar Has some funny parts 4 stars
4/10/06 Magdalena Martinez I for one loved the movie Benchwarmers 5 stars
4/09/06 Ron N Silly but a fun time 3 stars
4/08/06 Cassidy I really liked the movie. The trio was perfect..I loved it. 5 stars
4/08/06 Steve W Your review is this wretched trash is too generous. 1 stars
4/07/06 mike mmm yyeah why go see this ?? 1 stars
4/07/06 GOLAFISH Laughed my fool head off! 5 stars
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  07-Apr-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 25-Jul-2006



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Dennis Dugan

Written by
  Allen Covert
  Nick Swardson

  Rob Schneider
  David Spade
  Jon Heder
  Jon Lovitz
  Craig Kilborn
  Tim Meadows

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