Number one NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby stays atop the heap thanks to a pact with his best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton, Jr. But when a French Formula One driver, makes his way up the ladder, Ricky Bobby's talent and devotion are put to the test.
John C. Reilly,
Sacha Baron Cohen
In 2002, two rival Olympic ice skaters were stripped of their gold medals and permanently banned from men's single competition. Presently, however, they've found a loophole that will allow them to qualify as a pairs team.
John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey, a pair of committed womanizers who sneak into weddings to take advantage of the romantic tinge in the air, find themselves at odds with one another when John meets and falls for Claire Cleary.
White Goodman (Ben Stiller) is the owner and founder of Globo Gym, and would love nothing more than owning Average Joe's Gymnasium. Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) doesn't want to lose his gym to Goodman, but can't find a way to get $50,000 in time. Peter and his gang of gym buddies think of ways to raise money, finally settling on winning a dodge ball tournament. White Goodman retaliates by creating his own dodge ball team to finish off Peter. Peter's team doesn't do too well, until legendary ADAA champ Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn) turns up ready to train them.Written by
"Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" provides just enough good-natured low brow humor to make up for the fact that the film is not always as funny as it intends to be.
Vince Vaughn takes on the role of straight man as Peter La Fleur, the owner of a third rate gym called "Average Joe's" that caters to the .um how shall we say it? less athletically inclined, less single-mindedly health-conscious consumer. Pete's patrons are all "losers" and social outcasts who find Average Joe's the one place where they can find camaraderie and be accepted for who they really are. The problem is that, through poor business management, Peter has virtually bankrupted the establishment to the tune of $50,000 that needs to be paid off pronto if he is to maintain ownership of the place. Enter White Goodman (Ben Stiller), the self-made, egomaniacal owner of a top-of-the-line gym across the street who is determined to force Peter out of business and make it part of his own franchise. To raise the money, Pete and his comrades form a ragtag dodge ball team and head to Las Vegas to compete in the national championships. When Goodman gets wind of the plan, he forms his own team to take on Average Joe's less-than-average players in a David and Goliath showdown broadcast on nationwide TV.
Most of the humor in "Dodgeball" is of the Three Stooges/hit-one-another-in-the-groin variety that works pretty well for the most part, even if it does tend to become a bit strained and repetitious after awhile. Vaughn and Stiller have a fun time playing off one another, with the former carefully low balling his performance while the latter bursts forth in a no-holds-barred display of manic energy. Christine Taylor is also lovely and fine as the bank accountant who starts off rummaging through Peter's financial records and winds up as a star player on his team. The other cast members are all entertaining as well, and the film features a host of effective cameo performances from the likes of William Shatner, David Hasselhoff, Jason Bateman, Chuck Norris, and Lance Armstrong who really makes a mark in his short, but pivotal and well written scene near the end of the film. But the real acting honors go to Rip Torn as a crazy, wheelchair-bound coach who uses some mighty unorthodox methods to whip the boys into shape. Torn is the undisputed comic force at the center of the film.
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