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DODGEBALL   Print  E-mail 
Written by Graham Reed  
Friday, 17 September 2004
"Welcome to Globo's Gym. Here at Globo Gym we're better than you, and we know it."

Welcome to the world of Dodgeball, a sport of losers , misfits and comedic potential. Dodgeball is in many ways, a formulaic sport movie about "Average joes" Gym, run by Peter LeFluer (Vince Vaughn), which is about to go to the wall in bankruptcy. What he doesn't know is that the bank is on his case because his long time rival, White Goodman (a hilarious campy over the top Ben Stiller in his best role in ages), has bought up the second mortage on the gym, so he can flatten it and turn into a carpark. And then everyone will have to go to the Globo gym.Their only shot is to raise the $50,000 owing within 30 days.

And just when all hope appears gone, it becomes clear - all they need to do is go for the National Dodgeball Championships, with $50,000 going to the winner. Add in the love interest in the form of Kate Veatch  (Christine Taylor) , the foreclosing agent from the bank with a heart of gold,  and a band of lovable but hapless losers such as Steve the Pirate - who spends the entire movie dressed as , yep you guessed it, a pirate, and overweight and out of date Gordon (subscriber to Extreme Sports Monthly) and what you've got is Rocky - the Fratpack years.

Well, not quite. What you've got is a film more akin to the inspired and brilliant Zoolander, substituting the dodgeball court for the catwalk. Highlighting the vanity and self narcissism of the fitness elite, obsessed with weightgain, body fat and abs, White Goodman is possibly the most over the top and risibly neurotic character since Derek Zoolander himself, but, to cap it all off,. He's got a mullet and a 70's porn ‘tache, wrapped in with the self-help can-do mentality of a self made maniac.

Contrast this ludicrously over the top character with more understated Peter Fleur of Vince Vaughn, and we've got a straight ahead battle of class warfare - Working Man vs. The Man. You don't need to be a genius to work out the ending, but it's how they get there that matters.

 

With sarcastic and barbed swipes at everything from sponsorship, organised sports, mail order brides, Russian volleyball players, Dodgeball is a scattershot attack on the comedic sense. And 99% of the time, it hits the target dead on.

Whilst it doesn't reach the zany heights of Anchorman, Dodgeball is one of the finest comedy movies in a  long long time, and even ropes in cameo's from such luminaries as David Hasselhoff, Chuck Norris, and William Shatner along the way. Anyway, what other film this year is going to include such gags as afootball team called the MiLF's or the immortal classic "no one make me bleed my own blood. Nobody."

Dodgeball. Don't dodge this one.

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