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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (originally titled Dodgeball (2005) and also known as Dodgeball and Dodgeball: The Movie) is a 2004 American sports comedy film written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller.
Peter, gym employees Dwight Baumgarten and Owen Dittman and members Steve "Pirate" Cowan, Justin Redman, and Gordon Pibb all band together to raise the required money. After a car wash suggested by Owen fails, Gordon suggests entering a dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas with a $50,000 prize. After the team watches a 1950s-era training video obtained by Justin featuring Irish-American dodgeball legend Patches O'Houlihan, Girl Scout Troop 417 easily defeats them in a local qualifying match, but are disqualified due to one member's use of three separate types of anabolic steroids and a low-grade beaver tranquilizer, effectively handing the win to Average Joe's by default.
After an intense game, Peter and Goodman face off in a sudden-death match to determine the winner. Inspired by Patches' spirit, Peter blindfolds himself, successfully dodges Goodman's throw and strikes him in the face, winning the championship and the prize money. Goodman nullifies the victory, revealing that Peter sold Average Joe's to him the previous night, but Peter surprisingly reveals that he used Goodman's $100,000 to bet on Average Joe's to win; with the odds against them at 50 to 1, he collects $5 million. Since Globo Gym is a publicly traded company, as Kate explains, Peter purchases a controlling interest in it, thus regaining Average Joe's, then publicly fires Goodman. Steve, now with a more normal appearance, returns and apologizes to Peter, but revives his pirate persona when Peter shows him their winnings. Peter is shocked when Joyce, a girlfriend of Kate's who caught an earlier flight from Guam to witness the final match, arrives and kisses her passionately, but Kate then reveals her bisexuality and kisses Peter similarly. Kate becomes Peter's girlfriend, and Justin and Amber get married with a baby on the way, while Owen begins dating Fran from the Globo Gym team. Peter opens youth dodgeball classes at a newly renovated Average Joe's, while Goodman slides into depression and morbid obesity.
In 2005, two New York City screenwriters, David Price and Ashoka Thomas, filed suit in federal court against Fox and Thurber, claiming copyright infringement of an unproduced screenplay they had written, Dodgeball: The Movie, by Thurber and Fox. They alleged there were a number of similarities in the plots of the two screenplays, and that Thurber may have had access to their screenplay, which was finished a month before his and submitted to an agent whose assistant he was acquainted with.
"Film Review: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on March 24, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
Average Joe's Gym and its owner, Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn), are both down on their luck. A fancy competing gym called Globo-Gym, run by the maniacal health nut White Goodman (Ben Stiller), is about to put Average Joe's out of business unless Peter can raise $50,000 to keep his mortgage. To save the gym, Peter and a ragtag group of Average Joe's members and employees enter a dodgeball contest with a big cash prize. In response, White forms his own Globo-Gym team to rout the competition.
Stephen Fry was once asked what he felt was the difference between British humour and American humour. He replied that in America, the standard comedy protagonist was a fast-talking wise-cracker who could talk his way out of any situation and was completely above people in authority who stood in his way. In Britain, on the other hand, comedy protagonists are usually underdogs steeped in character flaws, who go out of their way to be a good person but regularly come a cropper through self-sabotage, events beyond their control or a combination of the two. While in America anyone can make it to the big time and their success garners praise and adulation, in Britain misery is ironically celebrated and success is either rare or something always happening to other people. These two different approaches to comedy are very hard to reconcile, especially within the terms that Fry had couched them. But in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (Dodgeball hereafter), they do find some common ground, thanks to a story which is as old as dirt and a willingness to make fun of its main characters. Its humour is undeniably juvenile, and it would be very hard to argue that it brings anything new to the table as a sports movie. But taken as an example of genre film-making, it does just about enough to scrape a pass and sustain our attention while doing so. Even by general Hollywood standards, sports films are some of the most tightly formulaic offerings out there. It's easy to point at certain films which have created individual cliches within it - it's hard to watch any training montage without thinking of Rocky, for instance. But the beats of sports films are so predictable - at least when it comes to American offerings - that the sport itself becomes almost completely unimportant. You know from the outset that the underdogs are going to try their hardest to win, will come up against a team which is richer, more privileged or just generally better than them, things will get worse before they get better, and eventually through the power of teamwork and/or individual flair they will win the day (and someone may get the girl in the process). The kindest thing that you can say about Dodgeball is that it is fully aware of how generic it is, and is trying to having the most fun it can within those limiting parameters. It doesn't do anything to either challenge or subvert the narrative beats of the sports film, and from a structural point of view it brings very little that is new to the table. What it opts for instead is using the familiarity as a springboard into a gallery of over-the-top characters and outrageous slapstick from which very few people emerge unscathed. Having let its audience get settled into the story, it attempts to blind-side them by being offensive, profane and just plain silly - and while not every joke successfully lands, it deserves credit for its consistent effort. Much of the humour in Dodgeball is derived from outrageous situations reminiscent of the National Lampoon stable or the better works of the Farrelly brothers. There's no real reason for the team's kit to get mixed up with that of the S&M-themed team except to attract a laugh - just as there is no reason for Kate to reveal herself to be bisexual at the end of the film. The film unashamedly pitches itself to teenage boys and it's impossible to argue that all such jokes have dated well over the last 14 years. But at least it pitches itself as bad taste from the start and follows through with it, rather than claiming to be shocking and pulling its punches for fear of alienating its audience. Such an attitude also extends to most of the characters. Why does Alan Tudyk's character think he's a pirate? Because it's funny. Does the film care that there's no reason or purpose behind this? No. Why is Rip Torn's character allowed to put his team in situations which could potentially harm them (e.g. dodging moving cars and wrenches)? Because it's funny. Does the film care that any sane person would either sue him or have him arrested, and find someone else the second these things happened? No. Besides Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, none of the major players have believable motivations or anything resembling a developed role - their characters only make sense within the confines of generic convention. They are there and behave the way that they do because the plot demands it, and the film is far too lazy and straightforward to present them as a parody of sports film protagonists. If Vaughn gets a pass by being a believable avatar for the audience (for one of the few times in his career), Stiller does so by going in the opposite direction. White Goodman is a wonderfully silly creation, who epitomises the worst excesses of American self-belief and self-help culture. As he proved in Zoolander, Stiller is very adept at portraying flamboyant and overblown characters whose ego or rampant lack of self-awareness hides deep-rooted insecurities. It's arguably one of the best things he's ever done, if nothing else because of his total commitment to the character, and it's baffling that he was Razzie-nominated for what is one of the best performances in the film. In my review of We're The Millers, I said that any successful comedy has to simultaneously keep two balls in the air: it has to keep the characters likeable or appealing, and it has to punctuate their story with sufficient jokes. Having established that we largely relate to the characters out of genre familiarity, the success or failure of Dodgeball lies predominantly on whether it has enough jokes to see us through 92 minutes. Fortunately for director Rawson Marshall Thurber, there is enough in the tank this time around, even if the jokes he opts for won't be to everybody's tastes. The central problem with We're The Millers was that it took a half-decent narrative and ran it into the ground so quickly that it had to resort to badly-assembled improvisation and lazy gross-out jokes to keep the audience interested. In Dodgeball, the various movements of the story are so familiar that Thurber can practically set up the jokes in his sleep: he knows what needs to happen to make a given scene memorable (or at least tolerable), puts the camera in the place where the joke will work best, and crosses his fingers. Generally the slapstick is pretty good; people get painfully hit in all the usual places, but at least it's consistently funny to see them get hit. While the slapstick is generally good fun, the verbal comedy is less successful. The commentary featuring Gary Cole and Jason Bateman falls completely flat - it's a pale imitation of the baseball commentary scene in the first Naked Gun film and ends up being as inane as the commentary team in Mean Machine. Stiller's stilted put-downs are funny at first but become a little wearisome as the competition rolls on, and even Rip Torn's shtick starts to grate once the initial training is over. As for the cameos by Chuck Norris and William Shatner, they add very little and give the impression of a film running out of ideas. Because Dodgeball manages to keep the rate of its jokes up, and many of them at least somewhat hit the target, it ends up being a surprisingly likeable watch. It's comparable to the ending of Rat Race, insofar as you find yourself rooting for people and wanting good things to happen to them even as the rational part of your brain is working frantically to unpick and criticise their every move. Because it's so tightly hemmed in by convention and therefore so predictable in its outcome, you could never claimed to be surprised by it. But it does charm its way into your heart, even if it ultimately doesn't stay there very long afterwards. The film's visual sensibility is also pretty decent, given how phoned-in many sports films can look. Jerzy Zieli?ski has had a very mixed career as a cinematographer, but he did lens both The Secret Garden and Galaxy Quest. This is far closer to the later, with its emphasis on blues and purples as things move towards the climax and the film having an off-puttingly tacky sheen to reinforce the un-likeability of Goodman. It's not the most distinctive film on the market, but his decisions compliment Thurber's camera positions and the lighting is solid. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is a decent if largely unremarkable effort which you will find yourself enjoying slightly more than you expected. It hardly deserves to be hailed as a classic, either as a comedy or a sports film, being knee-deep in clichés and relying on its blunderbuss approach to humour to see it through. But thanks to two good performances and enough jokes that hit the target, it does enough to hold our attention and induce a good few chuckles through its brisk running time. If nothing else, it's evidence that Vince Vaughn isn't always completely unwatchable.
Justin Long starred as Justin Redman in comedy film Dodgeball. He is a talented actor, great comedian and famous director known for his projects like Creepers, Accepted, Live Free or Die Hard, Comet, Tusk, Drag Me To Hell, Galaxy Quest, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Shop Class.
Bound to stir up good and bad memories of an adolescent rite of passage, director Rawson Marshall Thurber's outrageous nerds-vs.-jocks comedy pits a misfit dodgeball team against a squad sponsored by a corporate giant. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, Jason Bateman, Justin Long, Joel David Moore, Alan Tudyk, Chris Williams.
Legendary star Rip Torn has labored for over 60 years and he’s remembered for his work in Cross Creek, Males in Black, Dodgeball and plenty of extra. He’s the recipient of CableAce Awards and American Comedy Awards. Torn left this on July 9, 2019, in Connecticut on the age of 88 attributable to Alzheimer’s illness.Joel David Moore bought fame and success along with his roles of Owen within the comedy movie Dodgeball and after that, he starred in Grandma’s Boy and Terry Zwigoff’s Artwork Faculty Confidential. Moore has appeared in three sequels of Avatar movie as Dr. Norm Spellman. As a director, he directed Spiral, Killing Winston Jones and Youth in Oregon. Joel David Moore retains his followers and followers up to date by way of his social media and his latest footage are completely lovely. (Source:
Between the actor who was arrested for robbing a bank at age 78 and the actress who used a grizzly bear as the best man in her wedding, the lives of the stars of Dodgeball have proved to be as entertainingly bizarre off the screen as they were on it.
Taylor hasn't been particularly active in the film industry since the release of Dodgeball. She did make a cameo appearance in another Stiller flick, Tropic Thunder, and has appeared in a variety of television shows including Arrested Development (Sally Sitwell), Burning Love (Symphony) and the voice of Mrs. Khaka Peu Peu in one episode of Phineas and Ferb.
Don't let those goofy goggles fool you—Stephen Root, who played the lovable Gordon, is an incredibly successful, incredibly talented actor, and had been for many years before appearing in Dodgeball.
If actor Jamal Duff, who played the imposing Me'Shell Jones in Dodgeball, looked more like a football player than an actor, that's because, well, he was.
If you weren't aware, the actress who played Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky in Dodgeball didn't look quite as terrifying as the film made her seem.
In case you've forgotten, Lance Armstrong made this inspiring cameo in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, telling Vaughn about how love and support from his family helped him keep racing in the wake of cancer.
Vince Vaughn may have already been well-known for Swingers, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Psycho when he starred in DodgeBall, but the film seems to have marked the beginning of a new phase in Vaughn's career: that of big budget, big screen comedies. The next year, he appeared in Wedding Crashers, which solidified his status as a comedy leading man.
Ben Stiller has had a varied career as an actor, writer, and director, and it seems like it was really launched in 2004, the year DodgeBall was released. While Stiller was already famous for Meet the Parents and Zoolander, 2004 saw him starring in Meet the Fockers, Starsky & Hutch, and Along Came Polly, some of his most popular films.
Rip Torn had a not so great fate as the Average Joe's team mentor Patches O'Houlihan in DodgeBall, a role that came far into an already successful career. Torn later took on roles in films like Yours, Mine, and Ours and Bee Movie, along with appearances on TV shows like 30 Rock.
You'll recognize Steve the Pirate if you're a fan of sci-fi, as actor Alan Tudyk was already well-established as Wash in Joss Whedon's cult hit Firefly. A sequel to Firefly provided one of Tudyk's early DodgeBall follow-ups, with the actor coming back to tear everyone's hearts out in the Firefly big screen movie Serenity.
The late Rip Torn portrayed old, crotchety, slightly mad dodgeball coach Patches O'Hoolihan in DodgeBall, but Hank Azaria played the character as a younger man, back in the good old days and in a dodgeball training video. Azaria is a comedy journeyman and gifted actor who's been a major part of some of the biggest and funniest shows and movies of the past three decades. Since the series' inception, he's been a utility voice actor on The Simpsons, portraying, among others, Chief Wiggum, bartender Moe, Carl Carlson, Superintendent Chalmers, Comic Book Guy, and Kwik-E-Mart proprietor Apu (although, because he's a Caucasian man, not without some controversy).