Before I get into the review, I want to make a special announcement: this is my 250th film review! I have been blogging for about six and a half years, posting my first reviews in July of 2013. If you ignore my six month hiatus in 2018, that averages about one review a week! I know that I’m not always consistent in posting reviews according to a schedule but I’m pretty excited that I have been able to maintain that average, considering I aim for a review at least every other week.
Thank you everyone for your support over the last 250 reviews! It has meant a lot that you have kept coming back and reading my reviews and other posts. You make me truly enjoy blogging. 😀
To be honest, in preparing for this milestone, I actually watched another film to fill this momentous review slot. However, I decided that review would be better suited for the upcoming Ultimate 2000s Blogathon I am co-hosting. In still wanting to keep with the 00 decade theme, I chose to review another of my favorite comedies from the era. And with that, I give you my review of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Enjoy!
Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn) and his team of misfits from Average Joe’s Gym enter a dodgeball tournament to prevent the gym from being bought by Globo Gym and Globo Gym’s owner and operator, White Goodman (Ben Stiller).
At its core, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is your basic sports film. A team of oddballs enter a sportsball tournament to combat a team of bullies. It’s basically Rocky or The Replacements but with dodgeball. This kind of story has been done dozens of times over since the invention of cinema. In order to stand out, writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber puts his own spin on the tale.
This came out during an era of comedy films when movies like Zoolander, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and Napoleon Dynamite were popular. As such, that is the type of humor you should expect from this film. It’s slapstick to the extreme, a type of comedy that I refer to as ‘stupid funny.’ This type of humor isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I personally find it enjoyable. That might be because I essentially grew up on this type of humor since many of the comedy movies that were released around that time approached comedy the same way.
The signature of this brand of humor are its characters. One or more are ridiculously over-the-top and exaggerated. Ben Stiller’s White Goodman is just our average workout junkie and evil corporate CEO wrapped into one. Except this is a satire of sports movies so he is the over-the-top one. Opposite him is his Peter La Fleur, the underdog of the tale, played by Vince Vaughn. Rounding out Peter’s ragtag posse trying to save their gym from hostile takeover are Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor), a lawyer who has caught the eye of both White and Peter, Justin (Justin Long) a high school outcast, Gordon (Stephen Root), a connoisseur of obscure sports, Owen (Joel David Moore) and Dwight (Chris Williams), two ex-airport employees, and Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk).
Vince is the straight man to Stiller’s funny man. When the two of them are on screen together, they play off each other so well it’s magic. Sometimes a comedy duo works when the pair are friends, like Wedding Crashers, but here, Vaughn and Stiller play enemies and it works splendidly. Vaughn’s timing and deadpan delivery complement Stiller’s crazy antics and exaggerated delivery. If you’ve seen any movie starring Vaughn, you should know exactly what to expect from him. However, Stiller never seems to have a signature style. He is like a chameleon who can adjust to what the films needs. While White may not be as iconic as some of his other roles, Stiller is a perfect fit for the part.
The supporting cast is just as entertaining and hilarious as the two leads. It’s hard to pick a favorite from the group. Justin Long’s body language when he delivers his lines always has me laughing. He makes the most of this when he continuously gets hits by dodgeballs. If you’ve watched Office Space, you know how funny Stephen Root can be. His “L for ‘love’” line is one of my favorites in the whole movie and one that I use myself to this day. Joel David Moore, Chris Williams, and Christine Taylor all also have their own moments to shine and don’t disappoint. And of course I have to bring up the talented Alan Tudyk. His pirate impression makes me wish he’d speak like a pirate all the time! Simply put, everyone does fantastic.
I thought Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story was GREAT 😀 The stand-out cast is the highlight of this film and what makes the humor work. Everyone gives fantastic performances and all have several great and memorable moments. Endlessly quotable, this sports spoof never fails to make me laugh, even after at least a dozen viewings later.
White: Nobody makes me bleed my own blood. Nobody!
Cast & Crew
Rawson Marshall Thurber – Director / Writer
Theodore Shapiro – Composer
Vince Vaughn – Peter La Fleur
Ben Stiller – White Goodman
Christine Taylor – Kate Veatch
Justin Long – Justin
Stephen Root – Gordon
Joel David Moore – Owen
Chris Williams – Dwight
Alan Tudyk – Steve the Pirate
Rip Torn – Patches O’Houlihan
Jamal Duff – Me’Shell Jones
Missi Pyle – Fran
Gary Cole – Cotton McKnight
Jason Bateman – Pepper Brooks
Hank Azaria – Young Patches O’Houlihan
William Shatner – Dodgeball Chancellor
Julie Gonzalo – Amber
Trevor O’Brien – Derek
Rusty Joiner – Blade
Kevin Porter – Lazer
Brandon Molale – Blazer
Suzy Nakamura – Gordon’s Wife