REVIEW: DODGEBALL

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Swingers)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Ben Stiller (Along Came Polly)
Rip Torn (Men In Black)
Justin Long (Waiting…)
Stephen Root (King of the Hill)
Joel David Moore (Bones)
Chris Williams (Silicon Valley)
Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Missi Pyle (Gone Girl)
Gary Cole (Chuck)
Jason Bateman (The Ex)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Chuck Norris (A Force of One)
David Hasselhoff (Prianha 3DD)
Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars)
Suzy Nakamura (Deep Impact)
Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)

Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) is the owner of Average Joe’s, a small and financially unsuccessful gym with a handful of loyal oddball members. When he defaults on the gym’s mortgage, it is purchased by his rival White Goodman (Ben Stiller), a fitness guru and owner of the successful Globo-Gym across the street. Unless Peter can raise $50,000 in thirty days to cover his mortgage, White will foreclose on Average Joe’s and demolish it to build a parking garage for his gym members. Attorney Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor) is working on the transaction for White. White repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempts to charm her, and she instead develops a friendship with Peter while reviewing his financial records.
Average Joe’s employees Dwight (Chris Williams) and Owen (Joel David Moore) and members Steve “the Pirate” (Alan Tudyk), Justin (Justin Long), and Gordon (Stephen Root) try to raise the money needed to save the gym. Gordon suggests that they enter a dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas with a $50,000 prize. They form a team with Peter and watch a 1950s-era training video narrated by dodgeball legend “Patches” O’Houlihan (Hank Azaria). They are soundly defeated by a Girl Scout troop in a local qualifying match, but win by default when the Scouts are disqualified because of one member’s steroid and beaver tranquilizer use.
White has been spying on Average Joe’s using a hidden camera, and forms his own elite dodgeball team to oppose them. Peter is approached by the aging, wheelchair-bound Patches (Rip Torn), who volunteers to coach the Average Joe’s team. Patches’ training regimen includes throwing wrenches at the team, forcing them to dodge oncoming cars, and constantly berating them with insults. Kate demonstrates skill at the game, but declines an offer to join the team as it would be a conflict of interest owing to her contract with White. However upon noticing a loophole in the contract with Kate, White arranges for her to be fired from her law firm so that dating him would not be a conflict of interest in itself. This infuriates Kate and motivates her to join the Average Joe’s team.
At the tournament in Las Vegas, Average Joe’s suffers early setbacks but manages to advance to the final round against Globo-Gym. The night before the match, Patches is killed, ironically, by a fallen “Luck of the Irish” sign. This shakes Peter’s confidence; he expresses his fear that the team will lose to Globo-Gym and berates Steve for his childish pirate persona, causing Steve to leave the team. White offers Peter $100,000 for the deed to Average Joe’s, which Peter accepts. The day of the final round, Justin leaves to help his classmate Amber (Julie Gonzalo) with a cheerleading competition, leaving the Average Joe’s team without enough members to compete. Peter has a chance encounter with Lance Armstrong, who shames him into rejoining his team, but he arrives too late: Average Joe’s has already been forced to forfeit. Gordon finds a loophole in the rules: a majority of the judges can overturn the forfeiture. Chuck Norris casts the tie-breaking vote allowing the team to play.
After a fierce game, Peter and White face off in a sudden-death match to determine the winner. Inspired by a vision of Patches, Peter blindfolds himself and is able to dodge White’s throw and strike him, winning the championship and the prize money. White declares the victory meaningless, since Peter had sold Average Joe’s to him the previous night, but Peter reveals that he used White’s $100,000 to bet on Average Joe’s to win; with the odds against them at 50 to 1, he has won $5 million. He can now buy a controlling interest in Globo-Gym, which now also includes Average Joe’s, and fire White. Steve returns to the group after Peter apologizes to him. He has appeared to have quit being a pirate until Peter rouses him back to his old self. Peter is dismayed when a girlfriend of Kate’s, who was in the audience, kisses her passionately, but Kate then reveals that she is bisexual and kisses Peter as well. Justin also finds romance with Amber, while Owen begins dating Fran (Missi Pyle) from the Globo-Gym team. Peter opens youth dodgeball classes at a newly renovated and now-successful Average Joe’s, while White, as depicted in a vignette that appears during the credits becomes massively obese from “drowning his sorrows” in junk food in which he laments on his loss, blaming it on Norris, plays with his prosthetic breasts and sings along to Kelis’ “My Milkshake”, and criticizes the “American cinema” for not appreciating any complexity over entertainment.
A comedy classic, if you’re into the dry humour of Vince Vaughn and some cracking one liners throughout, this film is for you.
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