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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

by on 2011/04/08

You can’t be my boss! Nobody’s my boss! I’m my own boss! I created myself!”

* * *

There are a few – very few – things I know for sure.

1. Dodgeball is a funny game. Oh sure, it wasn’t always funny. Not when you are a congenitally clumsy grade 6 girl with a perm and braces. It isn’t funny at all then. Especially when your gym teacher Mr. Kashotputsky* loved to practice his own brand of reinforced rubber Darwinism on the court.

As the movie confirms, “Dodgeball is a game of violence, exclusion and degradation.” In Dodgeball, this time it was funny because it wasn’t me.

2. Vince Vaughn, who plays the hero Peter La Fleur, the owner of the failing Average Joe’s Gym in Dodgeball, is funny. I don’t know why, I can’t explain it. Vince Vaughn just always is. Laconic. Slow-blinking. Funny.

3. Rip Torn is funny. Hilarious. Everything he says and does. I once watched him on a cooking show talking about his passion for steak tartar, raw eggs and bourbon. Even that was funny.

And you know, also creepy.

Rip Torn plays Patches O’Houlihan, a former dodgeball great, with snarling anger management problems and a passion for hookers.

4. Watching Rip Torn emotionally abuse and physically assault Justin Long is particularly funny – especially with when he uses a sack of wrenches to the tune of “Jambo” by Claude McLin. Best. Sports. Training. Sequence. Ever.

5. Watching a guy speak like a pirate for no apparent reason is funny. Especially watching Alpha, the genius psychopath from Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse – Alan Tudyk (Serenity, Firefly) – say ”Yar.’ Tudyk plays the deeply delusional Steve the Pirate, a regular at Average Joe’s Gym.

In fact, seeing Dodgeball again really took the edge off of my recently acquired fear of Alan Tudyk and scalpels.

6. Playing White Goodman, the owner of Globo-Gym and the villain of the piece, Ben Stiller wearing bike shorts is absolutely horrifying. Come to think of it, anyone in bike shorts is horrifying. But especially Ben Stiller.

7. Christine Taylor, playing Kate Veatch the sympathetic bank loan officer hired to oversee the foreclosure sale of Average Joe’s Gym, is pretty. She looks exactly like Marcia from the Brady Bunch. She isn’t funny though.

8. Jason Bateman, as Pepper Brooks the heavily-recreationally medicated dodgeball commentator with airborne hair, is funny.

9. The fact that William Shatner (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) plays the chancellor of the dodgeball commission is funny. So too is the fact that Chuck Norris holds the critical vote at the dodgeball judge’s table that decides the fate of Average Joe’s Gym.

10. Any movie that includes a pitch-perfect (and therefore vaguely sinister) 1950s training video about you know, *anything* deserves my love. Dodgeball‘s got one.

* * *

92 minutes

PG-13 for Ben Stiller and fast foods engaged in er, amorous embraces

*some vowels and consonants have been changed to protect the mean

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