Review: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2004 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller.

Synopsis: When a cherished but financially-struggling gym is put in danger of being shut down by a larger rival, the owner and a group of his members form a dodgeball team in the hopes of winning the $50,000 prize at a Las Vegas tournament. However, in addition to lacking physical talent, the team faces several other personal obstacles that make them a long shot to win.


Since we had nothing else planned for the day, my wife and I were trying to get some things done around the house yesterday. However, when I came across this film on one of our movie channels yesterday morning, I ended up putting it on and watching it while doing some of our planned chores. 

I had seen this movie a while ago but couldn't remember much about it. After seeing it again, I have to say it is a surprisingly funny comedy.

I think the thing I like most about this movie is it isn't as predictable as it would seem to be. A lot of sports-themed movies follow the same basic storyline and ultimately end the same way you would expect them to end. While there is some familiarity with this plot, the movie manages to have just enough twists and turns to keep it from getting boring. In fact, the heroes in this movie are so bad at dodgeball, they need a lot of surprise twists just to advance.

Also worth noting are the various teams they must face throughout the film. Some of those teams, ranging from the girl scouts they face early on to the lumberjacks they face in Las Vegas, are as memorable as the main good guys/bad guys.

I think my only real complaint about this movie is Ben Stiller. While his character, White Goodman, was funny, he also seemed a little too much like some of the other characters he's played. In fact, there were times when he reminded me a little too much of Derek Zoolander. It would have been nice to see a little more effort to create a character who was truly unique from the others he has portrayed.

Final Opinion

It would have been better if Stiller would have made a little more of an effort to portray someone who was unique from his other movies. However, overall, this is a simple, funny movie that is worth taking the time to watch at least once.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 02/13/2017, StevenHelmer
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