Dodgeball

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

> > Dec 2004

Dodgeball - Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
By Noel DixRiding the same tip as Old School, the script of Dodgeball isn't particularly strong, but luckily it has a talented cast that makes the most of what they're given, succeeding in making this film often amusing. Still, the majority of the jokes come at the expense of someone getting hit by a ball, wrench or even a car, which makes you want to check your brain at the door when you watch this story of an underdog gym doing battle with the multi-million dollar fitness club next door. Ben Stiller changes up his typecast a little to play White Goodman, the self-absorbed owner of Globo Gym who sports a Fu-Manchu and inflatable jock strap, destined to destroy his competition, Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn), via a dodgeball tournament. The majority of the laughs come from Stiller and Vaughn as they try to win the heart of Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor), an attorney assigned to foreclose Peter's gym. There are other great moments, such as an old time dodgeball instructional video with Hank Azaria and a hysterical cameo by Lance Armstrong, but Dodgeball relies on any reason to hit someone in the head with an oncoming object. The DVD is actually quite thin, though the checklist seems hefty, but these days you have to assume they're saving some portions for a second release. The four featurettes are all under four minutes long and are done in that MTV style that seems like you're watching an extended commercial, though watching Justin Long being bombarded by rapid fire dodgeballs is entertaining. Vince Vaughn claims this was one of the funniest scripts he's ever read during the commentary with director Rawson Marshall Thurber and Ben Stiller, which seems far-fetched, but their failed attempts at following Fox's guidelines of not mentioning other studios' films makes this one of the only worthwhile features. Though the heartbreaking alternate ending is good for a quick smile. Plus: blooper reel and deleted scenes. (Fox)
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