cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

Buy the Poster

A True Underdog Story

Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Christine Taylor
Written and Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

IN SHORT: It's silly-funny. Dodge that! [Rated PG-13 for rude and sexual humor, and language. 96 minutes]

Let us return to those innocent days when dodgeball was a gentle game of throwing and evading a red rubber ball . . . or let's not and say we did. We'll consider it a cultural variant that, by Grade 10 or so we were calling the game "Kill" and, as a player, doing our best to try and do just that to our opponent. We weren't real good at it, especially after we took a hit to our left eye, but them's the breaks.

Let us say, instead, that every Generation is entitled to its Animal House or Porkys or American Pie and all of the spinoffs and sequels that come with success. The first out of the gate this summer is Dodgeball, which avoids all the gross-out humor and most of the four letter words that we've come to expect but was still funny enough that two rows of twelve year-olds sitting behind us were cackling nonstop. We stopped cackling decades ago. We just laughed a heckuva lot more than we expected to when we dragged ourself down to see the film.

The "let's destroy the competition because it's not only profitable, it's fun" mentality -- is a fine way to describe White Goodman (Ben Stiller). Goodman built the GloboGym Empire from the ground up . . . actually he hired a lot of people to do it for him but the money was all his (except for the little bit which wasn't which was most of it). His competitor next door, Peter LaFleur (Vince Vaughn) runs the Average Joe Gym, which White wants to buy because his gym needs a new parking lot. Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor) is the bookkeeping tax person hired by Goodman to find a way to speed up foreclosure on the $50,000 mortgage the rich dude holds on the common working man. She's also going to find herself the -- everybody say it with Cranky, all together now -- love interest between the two men, although there's not a lot of competition since Stiller does such an exceptional job of making an ass of his character. That Vaughn manages to keep a straight face during the head to head scenes is a credit to his ability to, uh, keep a straight face.

Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn) is Peter's mentor and a one time DodgeBall champeen in his own right. Other than that, there isn't much to say other than the good vs bad guy, big money vs. little and girl in the middle has been a template for just about every comedy made in the last twenty years. All that counts is the quality and quantity of the jokes that fill the empty spaces and a better than usual parody of our national obsessions with anything that can be turned into a sport.

And, unlike all other comedies, this one manages a big surprise at the end so extra points for that, too. That isn't to say that DodgeBall will live in the hallowed halls of Delta House etc. It's script takes the great step of actually describing the rules of the game in great detail, and then tossing all those rules out the window just to rev up the engines for the big finale. All fine and good and perfect for all those young teens, at least the ones who've had the birds and bees talk. DodgeBall isn't prurient by any means but there is some stuff with sexual overtones that could bother starched collar parents.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to DodgeBall, he would have paid . . .


Take the kids. Unlock the inner child. But make all efforts to find a crowded theater because we can't vouch for how funny this is going to be solo (even if you allow yourself herbal aids, which we can't suggest) in front of a TV screen.

amazon com link Click to buy films starring Vince Vaughn
Click to buy films starring Ben Stiller
Click to buy films starring Christine Taylor
Click Here!
Lord of the Rings merchandise -

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.