Juan Ayala photograph

'Dodgeball delivers': The Slapstick Comedy of the Summer

Looking for the feel good movie of the Summer, one that will tug at the heartstrings and tearducts alike? If so go see 'The Notebook'. On the other hand, if you're looking for the big, loud, obnoxious Summer movie, I recommend 'Dodgeball, A True Underdog Story'.

Is there really a sport more American then dodge ball? Audiences of all ages can relate to the gym torture or glory that goes on in schools across America. This is what makes Dodge ball great, the classic group of Geeks and underdogs rising up to fight against the proverbial bully.

Vince Vaughn plays the hero, Peter LaFleur, the hapless owner of a run down gym that hosts losers and derelicts of every age, shape and form. When White Goodman (payed by Ben Stiller), owner of neighboring Globo Gym, buys the second mortgage on LaFleur's Average Joe's Gym in order to turn it into a parking garage, the lovable team of outcasts jump into action. After a failed carwash, one of Joe's regulars stumbles upon a Las Vegas dodge ball tournament with a $50,000 prize going to the winner, which happens to be the exact amount to pay off the mortgage. From there the hijinks kick into high gear with LaFleur and Good man trading barbs back and forth, competing for the love of the bank attorney assigned to investigate Average Joe's ledgers, played by Christine Taylor (real life wife of Ben Stiller). Joe's team wins a regional qualifier by default when one of the girl scouts from the other team tests positive for steroids. From there the team, coached by Rip Torn at this point a former dodge ball champion, goes through gutwrentching training to prepare themselves for the tournament.

The dodge ball action is inspiring as Average Joe's, led by Lafleur and Taylor's character, go through team after team to a final showdown with the Globo Gym Purple Cobra's. I was nearly in tears as the finale pitted the downtrotten against the enlightened. Nonstop edge of your seat action can only describe what came next. Although I can't reveal how it turns out (hmm), I will say that Chuck Norris has a say in the outcome.

From flying wenches to White Goodman's blowup crotch piece, this movie is a typical Three Stooges esc slapstick comedy. You will not find a lot of high brow humor, or intricate plotline and character development. What you will find is an entertaining popcorn movie with lots of laughs. So please, put the mower away, and go waste an hr and forty minutes of your life enjoying yourself, I sure did.

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