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Overall Rating
3.97

Awesome: 29.05%
Worth A Look52.7%
Average: 10.14%
Pretty Bad: 2.03%
Total Crap: 6.08%

9 reviews, 94 user ratings


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

"Schadenfreude: Making the world a better place to be"
4 stars

Those wacky Germans have a word that best describes the main reason why people would go to see Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story: Schadenfreude—taking pleasure in the pain of others.

Peter LeFleur (Vince Vaughn) is an apathetic, but big-hearted, guy who owns Average Joe’s: a crummy gym frequented by a mish-mash of physically and socially inept patrons: Justin (Justin Long), Gordon (Stephen Root), Owen (Joel Moore), Dwight (Chris Williams), and Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk). Peter is informed by Kate Veach (Christine Taylor), a beautiful bank employee, that his gym is now in foreclosure, and he only has 30 days to pay off the remaining $50,000 balance before it is acquired and taken over by Globo Gym, a corporate bastion of unnatural physical perfection founded by White Goodman (Ben Stiller).

Distraught and pathetic, the Average Joe’s Menagerie discover that they could enter the national dodgeball competition in Las Vegas that has a winning prize of—are you ready for this shocker--$50,000! They enlist the help of curmudgeonly retired Dodgeball player Patches O’Houlihan (Rip Torn), and begin a transformation from an awkward, rag-tag group of wannabe dodgeball competitors to a machine gun precision team of razor-sharp competitors. Or something like that.

Most people won’t see Dodgeball in order to see a well-laid out plot. They come to delight in the footage of people getting hit in the crotch with red rubber balls and pelted in the face with wrenches. And in that respect, Dodgeball delivers well. The game scenes and training sequences are wickedly funny: it’s always funny to watch nerds getting pummeled when you’re not the nerd…not that I’m bitter or anything. Sorry, childhood flashback. Writer and director Rawson Turber realizes this and keeps the pace of the film going at a nice, comfortable clip. He relies heavily on the aforementioned Schadenfreude to move his film along, and, it works fairly well.

Where the movie gets off track is during any scene of “character development” or exposition. The situations that lead to the exciting pummeling are so far-fetched and so overplayed that you can imagine, in the director’s commentary on the DVD, Thurber will be saying, “Get it? It’s a joke? Isn’t that funny? ‘Cuz the prize money is exactly what they need to keep the gym!” The film is so blatant in commenting on its own ludicrousness that it never lets the audience get carried away with the story.

What saves this film (with one MAJOR exception) is the performances of the main characters. Vaughn’s dry delivery serves as a great backbone for the hilarity that goes on around him. Justin Long revives his painfully awkward character from TV’s Ed, and Stephen Root plays the live-action version of his King of the Hill character, Bill Dauterive. Christine Taylor plays the straight woman with class, and there are brilliant turns by Rip Torn as the crusty, foul-mouthed Dodgeball coach, and by Jason Bateman as a generation X slacker sportscaster for ESPN 8 (“The Ocho”).

The one person who doesn’t work in this film is the one about whom the most hype has been made: Ben Stiller. Stiller’s usually brilliant characterizations and affectations are, this time, so over the top that he loses all believability. Combine his ludicrous performance with an equally ludicrous premise, and the film loses all touch with reality. Only when Stiller stops talking does the film start to get back on track. It shows the inexperience of the director that Stiller was allowed to over-perform his character so blatantly, and the whole film suffers as a result.

Dodgeball is a silly little movie with some genuinely funny moments. Unfortunately, a completely ridiculous premise, poor direction, and one completely over-the-top performance have turned what could have been a great comedy into an enjoyable but forgettable resume credit for everyone involved.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=10085&reviewer=311
originally posted: 06/27/04 00:38:47
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User Comments

5/12/11 RLan I was happily surprised by how much I liked this movie. 4 stars
5/06/11 dupadoit it rules 4 stars
12/19/09 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
7/08/09 *Holy_J@lapeno* Had its funny moments. The ending was pretty predictable but a good overall movie 4 stars
10/02/08 Shaun Wallner This film is hilarious!! 5 stars
3/22/08 Pamela White average Joes rule the world 4 stars
6/20/07 johnnyfog Thanks, Chuck Norris 5 stars
2/07/07 AJ Muller Straight up brings the funny; I laughed my ass off - "Pepper needs new shorts!" 5 stars
1/12/07 R.W.Welch C+ gagfest. Mostly on target, occasionally overshoots. 3 stars
12/05/06 Stanley Thai It's funny. It's crude. It's a good film... 4 stars
10/03/06 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
3/02/06 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
9/09/05 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
7/27/05 Kankasaur paraplegics should respect themselves, we play MURDERBALL, & we don't dodge traffic so well 5 stars
7/25/05 kaitlin j. vince vaughn is amazing 5 stars
7/18/05 amanda hollywood, women should respect themselves, we are not sex objects 1 stars
7/18/05 TheRedDevil The funniest film ever, 2nd to none 5 stars
7/12/05 sbpat21 very funny 4 stars
5/26/05 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
5/06/05 Phil 80% of laughs come from "Man getting hit in groin". But Stiller is excellent 2 stars
4/04/05 Charlie Ben Stiller's great in Dodgeball. 4 stars
3/30/05 Richard Pryor great movie 5 stars
2/20/05 lj really funny--loved it 4 stars
2/15/05 Bobby da Squid There're only so many times that hitting somebody in the face or nads is funny 3 stars
2/09/05 nannette ryan I thought the movie was funny. The acting could have been better but it will give a laugh 4 stars
2/08/05 Kitina Blues it was ok...vince vaughn is soooooo hot!!! :) 4 stars
2/05/05 youreo The plot leaves you wondering, but these guys could sit in a room and sell tix. Funny! 4 stars
1/28/05 Jack Scallops You can dodge a wrench, You can't dodge this film 5 stars
1/19/05 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
12/25/04 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
12/19/04 Nicole I was excited to see this - when I finally did I was disappointed 3 stars
12/13/04 KCobain Almost as bad as Zoolander. Tasteless humor that isn't funny. 2 stars
12/07/04 Albie Worth watching once 3 stars
11/21/04 Kristina Williams pretty funny...liked Zoolander better, though 4 stars
11/16/04 Littlepurch Not as good as everyone says but still enjoyable and funny. Rip Torn steals show. 4 stars
10/25/04 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
9/10/04 bin ladan I say it is what I really wanted to see 4 stars
9/03/04 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
8/03/04 Kitina Blues for vince vaughn...he's adorable!!! 5 stars
8/01/04 Kathryn Knowlton Very funny 4 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz funny 4 stars
7/17/04 Mimi I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. 5 stars
7/08/04 S.f. Typical Stiller film. Funny! 4 stars
7/08/04 jenny this movie sucked i mean really sucked you people don't know good movies 1 stars
7/08/04 Mary This movie was very very funny! It's definitely worth seeing. 5 stars
7/08/04 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
7/01/04 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
6/30/04 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
6/27/04 Gar Hilarious. I haven't enjoyed a comedy as much in years!!! 4 stars
6/26/04 Thomas Pacheco This was one of the better Ben Stiller films. 4 stars
6/25/04 Dougie Whitey This is an unfunny film that is insultingly bad. Nose picking is funnier than this crap! 1 stars
6/25/04 KingNeutron Some og it is just WRONG, but mostly funny. Vaughn is more like Chevy Chase. 3 stars
6/25/04 Mr boner I pissed myself silly. Make sure you're nice and stoned! 5 stars
6/24/04 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
6/23/04 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
6/22/04 aerr qwer 5 stars
6/22/04 jason laughed thru the whole thing 5 stars
6/22/04 the truth cut-n-paste bs. yrs ago this site would have slaughtered this crap. the hell happened here? 1 stars
6/22/04 maxomai Fantastic slapstic. Corny. 4 stars
6/22/04 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
6/21/04 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
6/20/04 Heidialyssa A good, funny summer movie. 4 stars
6/20/04 jon this movie was freakin hilarious 5 stars
6/20/04 Desperado very funny, defintely recommended 4 stars
6/19/04 Alex Great 5 stars
6/19/04 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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