Review by Gordon Justesen
Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Features: See Review
Length: 92 Minutes
Release Date: July 12, 2005
it up your cram-hole, La Fleur!”
Like a rubber ball
to the face, the laughs come fast and hard in Dodgeball, which is the leading candidate for the funniest movie of
It's been a long
time since a single movie had me laughing out loudly during just about every
scene. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
is a wacky, over the top and insanely funny send up of all the feel-good sports
movies we've come to enjoy. Much of the laughs come not just from the physical
hilarity that is plagued in the sport of dodgeball, but by way of two very funny
performances from comedy pros Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller.
The story involves
the struggling staff at Average Joe's Gym. The owner of the establishment, Peter
La Fleur (Vaughn), is a likeable slacker whose business faces foreclosure if he
can't come up with $50,000 and fast. Who would want to buy out such a place as
Average Joe's? Nobody other than self-loving, fat-loathing fitness guru White
Goodman (Stiller) who owns the franchised-oriented Globo Gym right across the
With no other
options, one of La Fleur's employees comes up with a bright idea, to enter the
gang in a Dodgeball tournament to be held in Las Vegas. Though they have never
had a hint of dodgeball experience, they soon get it in the form of Patches
O'Houlihan (Rip Torn), a wheelchair bound father of dodgeball. Patches'
techniques consist of teaching the team the 5 D's of dodgeball; dodge, duck,
dip, dive and…dodge.
La Fleur's is
granted extra help in the form of Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor), who works for
the bank assigned to foreclose the gym. She soon takes a liking to La Fleur, and
an immediate despise to White Goodman, and joins the team when it is revealed
she has a throwing arm equal to a firing cannon. Once the conniving White gets
word of their plan, he wastes no time in entering his staff in the tournament to
stuff Average Joe's once and for all.
tournament is soon underway in Vegas. One of the movie's best in-jokes is the
very name of the network which broadcasts the dodgeball event; ESPN 8-"The
Ocho", an extension of the cable sports channel dedicated to broadcasting
seldom seen sporting activities. If it's almost a sport, they've got it.
The dodgeball play
by play is provided by ESPN 8 sportscasters Cotton McKnight (Gary Cole) and
Pepper Brooks (Jason Bateman). Their dialogue is easily the funniest sports
commentary I've ever heard in a single movie. It's a reminder of just how
flawless a comedic actor Gary Cole is. Along with his pop-up in Starsky
and Hutch and his successful TV show Arrested
Development, Jason Bateman is on the verge of a mighty comeback, as he
delivers priceless responses to Cole's commentary. Here's a sample:
Cotton: "In 23
years of broadcasting, I thought I'd seen it all, folks. But it looks like Peter
La Fleur has blindfolded himself."
will not be able to see very well, Cotton."
the opposition of Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. Vaughn, a favorite of mine ever
since Swingers, plays the straight man
as best as anyone can, while still making room for moments of charm and sharp as
a blade one liners. No one makes me laugh the way Vaughn has with his wit. He
kills me in every picture.
But I would be
lying if I said that movie doesn't belong to Ben Stiller in what his perhaps his
zaniest performance to date. Almost every line of dialogue that comes out of
Stiller's mouth is so stupidly funny, that you may find yourself rewinding to
hear it again, like I was doing a few times. Though in many's perspective the
performance may come across as supreme over-acting, Stiller's unleashed
performance is likely to have you in stitches.
so-called sport of dodgeball could only be fit for a comedy, it has resulted in
one of the funniest movies in years. Dodgeball:
A True Underdog Story is a pure 90 minutes of endless laughs, fun
BONUS TRIVIA: There
are countless cameos in the movie. Without giving any of the real surprising
appearances, there are pop ups from Hank Azaria, David Hasselhoff and William
ADDED TRIVIA: Make
sure you stay tuned after the end credits for a most surprising and hilarious
capper to the movie!
Fox continues to
excel in their DVD excellence with a grand and lively anamorphic presentation
(full frame version available separately). The image is thoroughly crisp and
clear in pure glory, adding up to a greatly detailed picture. Colors are a
blast, too, from the appearance of the brightly colored uniforms right down to
the red rubber balls used in the sport. Indeed, a presentation not worth dodging
Dodgeball is a comedy based on the most extreme type of physical comedy known to
the human race. With that element in tact, Fox has thrown to our face a strong
and amazing 5.1 mix. The dodgeball sequences provide a big boost of sound which
results in dynamic overall surround sound so good, you can pretty much hear
every single blow to the face, chest and well…you get the idea. Dialogue
delivery is supremely clear, and the wide variety of music on the soundtrack
play a big role in providing the superior sound quality.
Included on this
new Unrated release, in addition to the several raunchy one-liners that
weren’t included in the original movie, is an entire new commentary track with
Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller and writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber. There are
also 9 deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary, extended sequences of
the mighty fine Dodgeball Dancers, four behind the scenes featurettes, a gag
reel, and trailers for this, as well as bonus previews for Garden State and There’s
Something About Mary.