Written and Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Stephen Root, Joel Moore, Chris Williams, Alan Tudyk, Jason Bateman, and Hank Azaria
- Running audio commentary with actors Stiller &Vaughn and writer/director Thurber
- Deleted/extended scenes and alternate ending with optional commentary by Thurber
- DVD-ROM Content: Dodgeball Screenplay
- Gag reel
Released by: Fox Home Entertainment
My Advice: At the very least, rent it…
[ad#longpost]Peter La Fleur (Vaughn) just wants to live his life in peace. He owns a quaint little run-down gym. The problem is that he’s about to lose it to White Goodman (Stiller), who just happens to be the best personal trainer around and a legend in his own mind. La Fleur has to raise $50,000 in a very short amount of time in order to save his gym, so he and some of his few remaining customers decide to form a dodgeball team to compete in the national ADAA (American Dodgeball Assocation of America) championship which, conveniently, awards a prize of the exact amount they need. There’s only one problem: they have no training. Enter Patches O’Houlihan (Torn). He is the best dodgeball coach anywhere and an ADAA champion who is coming out of retirement to help lead La Fleur to victory.
This movie takes a genre that is a genuine moneymaker for Hollywood and turns it on its ears. First of all, it’s hilarious–which these days is a nice change of pace for the movie industry. It’s filled with some great sight gags and a cast that could not steer it wrong. That being said, though, it’s pretty much a one-watch movie. Once you’ve seen it, the funny will wear off a lot by the second time, even when you’ve got Rip Torn throwing wrenches at his fellow cast members screaming insults at them and yelling, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!”
Stiller’s character presents a few problems in that he is just outright annoying. Granted, his character is supposed to be annoying, but Stiller somehow transcends that and makes a character that is just annoying to watch. I absolutely hated his character, but I couldn’t decide if it was just the character or Stiller’s portrayal of the character that I hated. I was a little distracted by this debate in my head every time he was on the screen.
The DVD presents us with some pretty common fare for extra bits. The commentary track is pretty good because it’s got Vaughn and Stiller playing off each other in that way only they can. There is absolutely nothing spectacular about the deleted/extended scenes. After all, this is just a comedy. The stuff they cut from the movie is…stay with me here…not as funny as the stuff they left in. You don’t need the optional commentary track to enlighten you to this fact.
Thankfully, there is a Gag Reel on the disc, but it plays through just enough to whet your appetite and then shuts down. It’s funny, yes, but not nearly long enough. There also should have been a behind-the-scenes featurette that just showed the cast improvising with each other. That would have been some funny stuff, I’m sure. Alas, that’s all we’ve got.
Oh yeah, there is a DVD-ROM feature on the disc, but I’m warning you, it’s pretty boring. It’s nothing more than a digitized copy of the screenplay. No, there is no option to print out the screenplay so if you want to read along with the movie–you’ll have to put your computer screen near your TV screen in order to do so. Although there’s plenty of other stuff in the world you need to be reading, so…you know.
If you’ve never seen this movie, it’s worth renting to see at least once. However, you’d have to be a hardcore fan of Vaughn, Stiller and/or…um, dodgeball itself to make this a permanent addition to your collection.