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Overall Rating
3.01

Awesome33.33%
Worth A Look: 8%
Average: 12%
Pretty Bad: 20%
Total Crap: 26.67%

4 reviews, 51 user ratings


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Benchwarmers, The
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Yeah, it sucks, but . . ."
2 stars

If “The Benchwarmers” had been made by someone like Luis Bunuel or David Lynch–hell, even the likes of Matthew Barney would suffice–it would probably be hailed in most serious cinema journals for the boldly surreal touches that have inserted randomly into otherwise familiar genre material. However, it is instead what the folks at “Cahiers du Cinema” would refer to as “un film de Dennis Dugan,” a.k.a. the auteur of “Beverly Hills Ninja” and the man who once was Richie Brockleman, P.I., so it is more likely that it will be taken at face value for what it is–another inept offering from the cinematic halfway house that is Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production shingle, an outlet that seems to exist solely to keep Sandler’s college buddies and former SNL co-stars in beer money. To be fair, though, it is a little better than most of the previous Happy Madison output and I will admit that there was even a moment or two in which I found myself mildly amused. In other words, the film is dumber than practically anything playing at the multiplex right now (assuming, of course, that “Basic Instinct 2" has already been hooted from theaters by the time you read this) but still somewhat better than “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.” (And yes, I am in a profession in which I am qualified to make such distinctions.)

Rob Schneider, David Spade and Jon Heder star as longtime pals Gus, Richie and Clark, a trio of dorky longtime buddies who wind up forming a three-man baseball team to take on all the local squads of Little League bullies in order to take a stand for oppressed nerds everywhere. Inexplicably, the notion of three grown men(technically) beating kids at baseball makes them local folk heroes and a weirdo nerd-turned-billionaire (Jon Lovitz) comes up with the idea of a tournament between the trio, now called The Benchwarmers, and the top area teams with a lavish state-of-the-art stadium going to the victor. If this makes any sense to you, then the idea that Schneider’s character is both the most athletic member of the group and married to a hottie (model-turned-model Molly Sims) who inexplicably insists on bearing his presumably foul issue will no doubt come across as positively staid.

In a revelation that will come as a shock to absolutely no one, “The Benchwarmers” is a film with an idiotic plot, jokes that veer between dumb slapstick and puerile insults and such a reliance on bits involving nose-picking, flatulence, vomit and urination (the first two make appearances within the first 90 seconds alone) that even those predisposed to gross-out humor are likely to find themselves put off by the preponderance of such material. Adding to the fun is the fact that the three central characters are never particularly funny either–Schneider is stuck more or less playing the straight man, a position for which he is thoroughly unsuited and Spade seems to working under the impression that his Prince Valiant haircut is so intrinsically hilarious that he doesn’t need to do anything that bears any trace resemblance to what is usually referred to as “humor.” And yet, they come off like Martin & Lewis when compared to Heder, who basically contributes a reprise of his “Napoleon Dynamite” that did nothing other than remind just how much I hated that unfunny, overrated and condescending piece of crap.

And yet, while “The Benchwarmers” will never be mistaken for anything other than a terrible waste of time that has been produced for no other reason than the simple fact that it will wind up making about $40 million domestic on an investment of approximately $163.97, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that if you can look beyond the puke and boogers (a Herculean task that few reading this far will presumably take upon themselves), there are a few reasonably amusing bits strewn throughout the wreckage. Most of them come courtesy of the invaluable Lovitz, who drifts onto the screen every so often–once in KITT from “Knight Rider”–and delivers his bits with a weirdo energy that is like a breath of fresh air cutting through the surrounding stale fart-suffused air. Beyond him, there is a nicely bizarre line or bit that comes up out of nowhere to score a quick goofy laugh–although the trailers spoil the surprise, there is something about the sight of Reggie Jackson playing mailbox baseball that made me chuckle more than I would care to admit. And while it will never be mistaken for “The Bad News Bears” (or even “The Bad News Bears Go to Japan”), the message that it sends–that organized sports for kids tend to be more fun for the players when the parents aren’t dominating the proceedings and sucking out all the fun–is a more valuable one than one might expect from a film top-lining the stars of “The Hot Chick” and “Joe Dirt.”

The biggest difference between “The Benchwarmers” and most of the other Happy Madison efforts is that it looks as if it is at least attempting to be a real movie, which is more than one can say about the likes of “Grandma’s Boy,” which essentially felt like 80 minutes of failed sketch ideas thrown together at random without even a token effort at making them work. This is a first step that should be encouraged–if this keeps up, Sandler & Co. may actually come up with a good movie someday.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14295&reviewer=389
originally posted: 04/11/06 08:46:42
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User Comments

5/12/16 David Hollingsworth I would rather see someone getting a colonoscopy than see this crap. 1 stars
4/19/11 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
4/07/08 Alex good, but not the greatest sports comedy ever. watch the sandlot instead. 3 stars
3/27/08 Jack Sommersby One of the worst so-called comedies ever made, with Heden a simply insidious screen persona 1 stars
10/22/07 Beau Could only stand watching the first 15 minutes, childish, pointless, tastless humour! 1 stars
6/08/07 John i cant believe people say this movie is bad, it is a little childish but its still good 5 stars
4/25/07 Tiffany Losco funny, silly, loved it 5 stars
3/12/07 Jeff Anderson Terrible "comedy" saved only by Lovitz & yes Jon, this movie WAS a complete waste of time! 1 stars
12/07/06 Nikki aww good times are to be had for all when watching this... its a favourite of mine for sure 5 stars
11/27/06 Edler Idiotic but hilarious! 5 stars
11/12/06 Amanda hahaha Howie is so cute eating his little tube of sunscreen hahahaha 5 stars
11/11/06 stephen the most hilairious flim ive ever seen probly 5 stars
11/01/06 jade o wat the fuk how could anyone class this movie as hilarious it's tottaly bolloks 1 stars
10/25/06 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
10/09/06 Kate One of my favorite movies. 5 stars
10/06/06 alex you had 3 good reaons not to go see this one and they were all on the poster.keep it on... 1 stars
10/05/06 yerh fuckin funny 5 stars
9/29/06 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
9/23/06 Indrid Cold A few laughs, mostly thanks to Heder. Not worth a look though. 2 stars
8/14/06 katie Its the best movie ever! ive seen it 20 times 5 stars
8/14/06 Ryan_A Another Crappy Madison production. Heder continues to waste his Napoleon Dynamite goodwill 1 stars
8/06/06 The Hater Only a truly stupid person would like this. There're too many fake "Awesome" comments here. 1 stars
8/01/06 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
6/28/06 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne EricDSnider's worst nightmare -- blast blast blast! And I loved it! Hilarious! 5 stars
5/28/06 shelby halarious 5 stars
5/24/06 Lindsay Absolutely amazing 5 stars
5/23/06 tori savage this movie was awsome and i cant wait until it comes out on video so that i can but it. 5 stars
5/04/06 Hydrogen A disconnected joke book, not a movie. Miss it. 2 stars
5/01/06 Hannah It was hilarious and the best movie ever 5 stars
4/28/06 Quigley had its moments, but overall, it was pretty nasty. the three leads were good, though 3 stars
4/25/06 =) loveee the movie !!! 5 stars
4/23/06 Chris How anyone can like this stupid mindless trash is so far beyond me, ITS TOTAL SHIT 1 stars
4/19/06 Kayla This movie was the funniest movie i've seen in a long time. You have to see it! 5 stars
4/16/06 alyx It was hilarious. the whole theater was rolling. Haven't been to one of those ina long time 5 stars
4/16/06 Becca It was fricken awesome and now I know what everyone has been talking about. 5 stars
4/16/06 Cathye Disgusting 1 stars
4/15/06 Scott I dont know why everyone hates it so much. i thought it was awesome. 5 stars
4/13/06 San Lamar Has some funny parts 4 stars
4/11/06 Magdalena Martinez I for one loved the movie Benchwarmers 5 stars
4/10/06 Ron N Silly but a fun time 3 stars
4/09/06 Cassidy I really liked the movie. The trio was perfect..I loved it. 5 stars
4/09/06 Steve W Your review is this wretched trash is too generous. 1 stars
4/08/06 mike mmm yyeah why go see this ?? 1 stars
4/08/06 GOLAFISH Laughed my fool head off! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  07-Apr-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 25-Jul-2006

UK
  23-Jun-2006

Australia
  11-May-2006



[trailer] Trailer


Directed by
  Dennis Dugan

Written by
  Allen Covert
  Nick Swardson

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



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