Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
This is the George W. Bush of movies. Its only hope for success is to beat the shockingly low expectations that precede it. In the case of "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," if it makes $1 over its $20 budget, Warner Brothers would be wise to declare victory, round up all available copies, store them deep within the nuclear waste repository under Yucca Mountain, and then never make another movie like it again.
See if you can pick the ending: A ragtag team of misfits enters a national sports tournament, presumably without a chance in hell of winning it. The underdogs' chief nemesis is a team of arrogant, overfunded overachievers with every advantage afforded to them. The odds are 50 to 1 in favor of the arrogant rich team. What happens next?
1. In the final climactic game between the two teams, the underdogs, after being pummeled to within an inch of their life, draw on an unexpected reserve of inner strength to best the favored team. Everyone on the underdog team gets rich and married. Everyone on the losing team gets a comeuppance and covered in some sort of icky goo.
2. The favored team beats the crap out of the underdog team as expected. In fact, they beat them so badly that several members are killed, and the survivors slip into lifelong depressions because their status as losers is forever cemented. The girlfriend of the captain of the losing team leaves him for the captain of the winning team and reports that sex with a winner is the best sex she's ever had.
In this case, the teams represent rival health clubs: The underdogs from Average Joe's health club are led by Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughan), while the arrogant overachievers from the neighboring Globo Gym are led by White Goodman (Ben Stiller). Average Joe's needs a quick $50,000 to stave off a takeover by Globo Gym, and the journey from there to, "Hey, let's enter a dodgeball tournament and try to win the $50,000 prize" takes just long enough for the audience's eyes to roll back into their heads. It's the kind of story you'd think up on a Stairmaster. Before you get insulted by that statement, let me amend it: It's the kind of story writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber would think up on a Stairmaster, possibly while flipping through his old 6th grade composition book.
If there's one bright spot, it's that this film could well win the Oscar in the category of Most Projectiles to the Crotch in a Feature Film. It also might be qualified for some sort of humanitarian award for giving a small cameo role to Booger from "Revenge of the Nerds." You know the name of the actor who played Booger? I do: It's "Booger." And it will always be "Booger," no matter if he shows his face in a restaurant, a supermarket or on stage while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. So if you want to see what Booger's up to these days, by all means check out this movie. Otherwise, dig elsewhere for your entertainment.
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