Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

4.0 20
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor

     
 

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Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story revolves around amiable underachiever Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn), whose rundown gym, Average Joe's, is populated by a less-than-average clientele including a self-styled pirate, an ultra-obscure sports aficionado, and a pining high school nerd. It soon becomes apparent that Joe's is inSee more details below

Overview

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story revolves around amiable underachiever Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn), whose rundown gym, Average Joe's, is populated by a less-than-average clientele including a self-styled pirate, an ultra-obscure sports aficionado, and a pining high school nerd. It soon becomes apparent that Joe's is in financial trouble and will soon be foreclosed by attractive attorney Kate Veach (Christine Taylor) - unless Peter can cough up $50,000. Despite Average Joe's posing little threat to Globo Gym, a fitness Goliath across the street that is owned by egomaniacal White Goodman (Ben Stiller) - Goodman senses an easy acquisition and decides to take over the facility. Peter's ragtag group of regulars, however, are less than thrilled with the prospects, and mobilize a showdown, winner-takes-all Dodgeball tournament against Globo Gym. The film also features Missi Pyle, Rip Torn, Stephen Root, and Alan Tudyk. ~ Tracie Cooper

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
One of 2004's real cinematic surprises, Dodgeball is an unabashedly lowbrow comedy, the type that gleans laughs by heaping indignities on its cast members. Most of the men sustain blows to their private parts (some repeatedly), and whenever the action flags director Rawson Marshall Thurber has somebody smacked in the head as well. In short, Dodgeball offers an endless procession of lowest-common-denominator sight gags and pratfalls. But it also manages to invest a hackneyed story with energy and infectious humor, of the "slobs vs. snobs" variety. Vince Vaughn -- who, alone among the male cast members, emerges with his dignity relatively intact -- plays the lackadaisical owner of a ramshackle gym about to be foreclosed on by successful health-club owner Ben Stiller. Having only a few days to come up with the 50 grand Stiller requires, Vaughn and his motley customers enter a champion dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas -- only to find that they'll be playing against Stiller's highly trained, hyper-competitive team. Christine Taylor (Stiller's real-life wife) portrays a sympathetic accountant who joins Vaughn's hapless band of geeks, and Rip Torn engages in some scenery chewing as a former dodgeball champ coaxed out of retirement to coach the team. (His coaching regimen mainly involves throwing wrenches at his players.) The tournament sequence is a hoot, with supporting players Gary Cole and Jason Bateman nearly stealing the show as overly enthusiastic ESPN commentators. Some clever verbal jokes are sprinkled throughout the script, and Vaughn tosses off some snappy one-liners with improvisational brio. For a film that happily traffics in bad-taste humor, Dodgeball is surprisingly entertaining, in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Rawson Marshall Thurber's feature-length directorial debut, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, is a success thanks to its cast and its smartly structured screenplay. Vince Vaughn, (playing a part that has Stripes-era Bill Murray written all over it) is an agreeable underachiever, Ben Stiller plays outright unlikable for the first time in a film, Stephen Root continues to show why he may be the most underappreciated comic actor working, Rip Torn steals every scene he is in, and Gary Cole does a comedic pas de deux with Jason Bateman as a pair of sports announcers that rivals (without imitating) the similar duo from Best in Show. The film keeps the audience engaged by utilizing different kinds of comedy and performers with very different styles. Like the old joke about the weather, if you don't think something in this film is funny, wait five minutes and it will change. Because Thurber has tightly structured his story on the very familiar theme of underdogs, the film can support the comedic styles of the various performers. Like a good jazz composition, the screenplay supports the various performers as they solo and challenge each other. Make no mistake, this is a very slight film, but it succeeds at the most basic level for a comedy -- it produces laughs without hitting the audience over the head.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/07/2004
UPC:
0024543152583
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG13
Source:
20th Century Fox

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Stiller White Goodman
Vince Vaughn Peter LaFleur
Christine Taylor Kate Veach
Justin Long Justin
Stephen Root Gordon
Joel Moore Owen
Rip Torn Patches O'Houlihan
Alan Tudyk Steve the Pirate
Missi Pyle Fran
Jamal Duff Me'Shell Jones
Gary Cole Cotton McKnight
Jason Bateman Pepper Brooks
Hank Azaria Young Patches O'Houlihan
Al Kaplon Tournament Referee
Lance Armstrong Himself,Lance Armstrong
Chuck Norris Chuck Norris,Himself
William Shatner Chancellor
David Hasselhoff German Coach
Julie Gonzalo Amber,Ashley
Cayden Boyd Timmy
Christopher Williams Dwight

Technical Credits
Rawson Marshall Thurber Director,Screenwriter
Maher Ahmad Production Designer
George Bamber Asst. Director
Alan E. Baumgarten Editor
Juel Bestrop Casting
Andrew Cahn Art Director
Steve Cantamessa Sound/Sound Designer
Blythe Cappello Casting
Stuart Cornfeld Producer
George Drakoulias Musical Direction/Supervision
Jeanne McCarthy Casting
Mary McLaglen Executive Producer
Rhoades Rader Executive Producer
Carol Ramsey Costumes/Costume Designer
Theodore Shapiro Score Composer
Ben Stiller Producer
Jerzy Zielinski Cinematographer

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