In case you hadn't heard, the game of dodgeball is sweeping the nation. That's right, the old gym sport of chucking rubber balls at opponents until you're the last man standing. Any doubts you may have are understandable, but while most schools have banned the game in the last ten years (supposedly because kids found it too demeaning and dangerous), dodgeball leagues and tournaments are reportedly cropping up across the country. There's a National Amatetur Dodgeball Association and an annual world championship. There's also a new weekly television show promoting the sport on the Game Show Network.

Now it's a Ben Stiller movie of the month. Well, not completely Stiller's; he's just one of the cast members in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, till now known as the creator of Reebok's funny Terry Tate, Office Linebacker commercials. And those Tate spots make Thurber the ideal man to helm a silly sports comedy about people getting whacked in the head with balls, wrenches, and other assorted items.

Vince Vaughn leads the Average Joes

Vince Vaughn leads the Average Joes

Vince Vaughn (Starsky & Hutch, Old School) gets top billing as Pete Le Fleur, a likeable-but-lazy blue-collar slob who owns and operates small-time Average Joe's Gym. It's the kind of place situated in an old warehouse with out-of-date equipment, populated by losers and misfits that La Fleur keeps around more as friends than customers. Trouble brews when fitness rival White Goodman (Stiller) buys out Average Joe's mortgage in order to tear it down and build a parking garage for his own Globo Gym. That leaves Le Fleur and his pals just 30 days to come up with $50,000 to save the gym from foreclosure. One of the guys, Gordon (Stephen Root of Office Space), finds an ad for the American Dodgeball ...

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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (rude and sexual humor, and language)
Directed By
Rawson Marshall Thurber
Run Time
1 hour 32 minutes
Cast
Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller, Rip Torn
Theatre Release
June 18, 2004 by 20th Century Fox
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