For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Swashbuckler Films, here’s a review of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) by Darren of Movie Reviews 101
Thanks again to Richard of Kirkham A Movie A Day for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Steve of The Movie Movie Blog Blog and it is Screwball Comedy Films
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Sep by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to think out of the box! Great choice Steve!
Let’s see what Darren thought of this movie:
For Swashbuckler Movies, I focused on one of my favourite supporting characters, Steve the Pirate, played by Alan Tudyk, in every single other comedy this character would have been out of place, in here he helps add even more heart to this movie and for that I want to use him as my pirate choice.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber (Screenplay)
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Stephen Root, Joel David Moore, Alan Tudyk, Gary Cole
Plot: A group of misfits enter a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament in order to save their cherished local gym from the onslaught of a corporate health fitness chain.
Tagline – Grab Life by the Balls
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: One of the Best Sports Comedies
Story: Dodgeball starts as we meet the two gym owners, White Goodman (Stiller) who is obsessed with perfection with bodies only accepting beautiful model like members, on the other side of the street we have Peter La Fleur (Vaughn) owner of Average’s Joe a gym that is open to all, with the regulars and staff including Justin (Long), Gordon (Root), Owen (Moore), Dwight (Williams) and Steve the Pirate (Tudyk).
When Average Joe’s is facing a financial crisis with lawyer Kate Veatch (Taylor) preparing to close them in 30 days with White Goodman wanting to buy it and demolish it. The only plan is to train and enter a dodgeball competition where the prize is the money they require, only problem is, White has made his own team of super-athletes to stop Average Joe’s winning.
Thoughts on Dodgeball
Characters – Peter La Fleur is a gym owner, he is laidback and willing to let anybody join at their own pace, this mentality has left him facing financial crisis and he reluctantly accepts entering a dodgeball tournament, he can bring the team together as he gives the whole team hope. White Goodman is the owner of Globo Gym he only accepts beautiful people in his gym even offering cosmetic surgery for his members. He is completely over the top believing he is God’s gift to women with his success coming from his family’s money, he will do anything to eliminate Average Joe’s. Kate Veatch is the lawyer that is assigned to study the finances of Average Joe’s, she becomes the love interest for both men even though she has no interest in White, she joins the team to help eliminate Globo Gym. Patches O’Houlihan is the dodgeball expert, he trains the Average Joe’s to help become competitive in the competition. The rest of the cast include the Average Joe’s members Justin, Gordon, Owen, Dwight and Steve the Pirate that each have their own stories behind their characters to help motivate them to compete.
Performances – Vince Vaughn is one of those actors whose comedy can go either way, it is a laidback style which work perfectly for his character here, because he brings us a real person compared to Ben Stiller. Stiller on the other hand nails his completely over the top character that you are meant to be laughing at with everything he does and says. Christine Taylor is good in her role which like the rest of the cast shine, we get a mix of different comedies from the supporting cast which blend together to show the different styles of real life people.
Story – The story here follows to rival gyms going to compete for a dodgeball tournament to help keep the little gym with no money a chance to stay afloat before the global franchise closes them down. The story does botte down to a simple underdog story which is fine we can all enjoy a story about an underdog, we do get moments in the film from the Average Joe’s characters that help them learn to become more than they are which is the whole point of a gym, to improve yourself in your own way and everything Globo Gym shouldn’t be. If you want a simple fun sports comedy to watch, this is going to be the one for you without a question.
Comedy – The comedy in this film comes from many different levels, we get moments of slapstick with the dodgeball scenes, we get over the top characters in White Goodman and his team and finally each member of Joe’s team has their own quirky to make them funny.
Settings – The look at the different gyms helps the settings because it shows how people can be intimidated by certain gyms over others, when we head to Vegas for the tournament the competition feels are authentic as you would imagine.
Scene of the Movie – Most of the dodgeball scenes.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – Lance Armstrong scene is awkward now.
Final Thoughts – For a sports comedy this has laughs, heart and quality performances from the whole cast, this is one that will stick with you for years to come and I hope to see everyone else enjoy it.
Overall: Sports comedy done to near perfection.
Pingback: Genre Grandeur August Finale – The Mask of Zorro (1998) – Kirkham A Movie A Day |