Cast: Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Stephen Root, Joel Moore
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Genre: Comedy
Rated: M sexual references, low level coarse language
Running Time: 92 Minutes

Grab Life By The Ball

A small tacky gym, Average Joe's, is threatened with a takeover and/or closure by its rival, the pretentious, ostentatious Globo Gym, due to non-payment of fees to it's bank. In order to save the gym, a group of misfits from Average Joe's decide to enter a dodgeball tournament, which is held in Las Vegas. The pompous owner of the Globo Gym has been spying on the group, and they too decide to enter the dodgeball tournament to seal the fate of Average Joe's once and for all.

My Verdict:
Ben Stiller has been a prolific filmmaker of late, and can add 'Dodgeball' to his list of successes. 'Dodgeball' has a very similar theme to that of Stiller's 'Zoolander' (2001), but this time spoofing the lesser-known sport of dodgeball and again using himself as one of the main characters. He is White Goodman, owner of the Globo Gym, who is so over-the-top and suffering from some personality issues, with his gym all purple and silver themed and running amok with perfectly toned bodies. Across the road is a dirty, slovenly gym called Average Joe's, which is run by Peter La Fleur played by Vince Vaughn who for once gets to play the nice guy. Peter is not that fussed about much at all, including his finances and so it comes that unless he can find $50 000 to pay off his overdue mortgage, Goodman will takeover his gym. La Fleur has some regular users that won't let this happen and they decide to enter a dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas which, funnily enough, has $50 000 as the winners cheque. Of course this small group from Average Joe's are indeed just that - average - in fact, they are total misfits and geeks but are prepared to give it a go. Globo Gym is also entering the comp, having used their resources to discover Average Joe's intentions.

Much of the movie is spent showing how the Average Joe's team train for dodgeball, with the help of a wheelchair bound ex-dodgeball legend, Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn) and includes memorable quotes such as "if you can dodge traffic, you can dodge a ball" sending one of the group out onto the highway. The dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas is another main feature, where there are some cameos from David Hasselhoff, Chuck Norris and William Shatner. Also, the two commentators are a treat, played by Gary Cole and Jason Bateman. Much of the humour is pure visual slapstick; some of it purely dialogue driven so there is a mixture of comedy.

'Dodgeball - A True Underdog Story' is one of those comedies that uses the theme of the underdog to its fullest, and uses it well. This is a movie about being a member of a team and of what that truly means and the old adage that winning isn't everything, it's how you play the game that is important. This is a very funny movie.

Rating : B+

Christina Bruce