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This review is from: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story [DVD] (DVD)
“Dodgeball” is one of those films that will either delight or simply annoy the viewer and a lot will depend on the mood you’re in when you watch it. Fortunately for me at least, I was suitably relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the film and found it extremely original and extremely funny.
Peter La Fleur is the down to earth good guy who’s also the owner of a rundown gymnasium called “Average Joe’s”. His sweatshop doubles as the home from home for a right old motley crew of social misfits, whether it’s the guy who’s convinced he’s a pirate, the chap with the mail order bride who hates him or the high school drop out who still pines for his high school girlfriend.
Unfortunately for the business side of Average Joe’s just opposite is the mega modern gymnasium complex “Globo Gym” run by the vain self-opinionated and quite bizarre looking White Goodman. In a twist of the plot that is only there to orchestrate the point of the film Peter must assemble a team to compete in the dodgeball championship in L.A. to win the $50,000 prize money and stop the foreclosure of his Gym by Goodman. Goodman of course raises his own team and from there on in, it’s “Game On!”
As I say it’s an extremely silly and ridiculous film and if you’re not in an easy mood when watching it, the antics may well serve to annoy more than entertain. The humour is quite pantomimic and there’s plenty of opportunity to boo the bad guys and cheer for the goodies. Ben Stiller makes a great panto villain and his outrageous portrayal of Goodman is right on the money. Vince Vaughn as Peter is of course more circumspect and even a bit too flat, but this makes a nice contrast to the necessary overacting of some of the other roles. Christine Taylor is suitable eye candy and as Mrs Ben Stiller takes the opportunity to beat up her husband. There’s even a part for William Shatner hamming it up, but my favourite character was former dodgeball all-star Patches O'Houlihan, whether as the 1930’s training film guest star or the modern day dodgeball training coach. “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!” Ouch!