Movie Review: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Yesterday, two of my new friends down the hall, Alex and Kyle, suggested I watch the 2004 production, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Thanks for the recommendation guys.

This movie was popular back in the day, but I have to admit I never saw it. I don’t watch a lot of comedies these days, which is mostly because so many of these new comedies just don’t look any good. I also haven’t seen Vince Vaughn in anything before and many of my friends say he’s a bland actor, so I try to avoid him at all costs. However, Ben Stiller does know how to get a laugh out of me. Night at the Museum, Meet the Fockers, and Tropic Thunder all had their moments so I wasn’t so worried about him.

The plot is pretty simple. Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) maintains a gym called Average Joe’s right across the street from Globo-Gym, a big budget workout bonanza managed by White Goodman (Ben Stiller). Peter defaults on his mortgage and unless he’s able to get $50,000 to pay off the debt, Average Joe’s is closing down. Peter and his loyal gym members enter a dodgeball tournament to try and win the money, but are going to have to face off against numerous professional dodgeballer teams to do so.

Ben Stiller does a great job acting like an ecstatic, egotistical rich guy and while Vince Vaughn is definitely bland, the rest of the supporting cast evens out his poor performance by their solid back-up roles. Justin Long, who later starred in the blockbuster hit that was Live Free or Die Hard, did a great job with a stereotypical nerd who’s got issues with the ladies. His character was memorable for me despite the poor script he was given. Each character has enough screen time that they’re not taking too much, but just enough that their character is noticed and remembered. The humor is not over-bearing, but it’s also not like I can’t breathe I’m laughing so hard. It got some chuckles and smiles from me, but not much else.

Like most comedies, the plot line is weak but it has the basic outline that a movie needs in order for it to work. The filmmakers want to get the story on the road and get the laughs going. I understand the logic, but I’d like to see a comedy do something more, something unexpected. One of the reasons my favorite comedy is Adam Sandler’s Click is because the movie was different from any other comedy I had seen before. Adam Sandler’s character actually has character development and the plot is very simple but yet so great. The first half of the movie they throw joke after joke at me that got me howling and then the second half gets more serious, I care more and more about the characters, and there’s some genuine emotional scenarios. This movie doesn’t do anything like that because I don’t think it really cares about whether we care about the characters or not. Their only goal is laughter.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3World War Z42)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Now You See MeMan of SteelMonster-In-LawWhite House DownJobs)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (OblivionThe WolverineJagged EdgeElysium)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss Goodnight)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The HobbitAfter EarthRoad to PerditionTotal Recall)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot Games, The Great Gatsby)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight Cowboy)

My score for Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story: 67.

This movie isn’t great but it’s not terrible. It’s a decent comedy that’s not a bad movie to watch if you’re looking to chill and watch a movie at the same time.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

Vince Vaughn is not good in this movie no matter who tells you that. He’s probably less than an average joe to be honest. All of his compadres seem to care more about the gym than he does. He doesn’t seem to show a care in the world and is simply too relaxed and carefree for me to be able to relate. Luckily, Justin Long was around to save the day and take Vaughn to school on how to entertain in a boring role. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have liked this movie that much. Ben Stiller helped out a lot, too, but Vaughn gave a half-baked performance in this. It didn’t seem he wanted to be there and or maybe his character was supposed to be a jerk.

 

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