How Old Was Johnny Depp Pirates Of The Caribbean 1 "DodgeBall" Had a $20 Million Budget, Made $167 Million, and is Simply Terrible

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"DodgeBall" Had a $20 Million Budget, Made $167 Million, and is Simply Terrible

DodgeBall: True Underdog Story – 1 star (terrible)

Only in Hollywood, a truly terrible movie with Ben Stiller, which cost $20 million to produce, grossed $167 worldwide. Welcome to “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story,” the series that Dreamworks and MGM passed on and Fox finally agreed to make after Stiller dropped his salary below $1 million.

After seeing the unrated version of this comedy disaster, it would be hard to recommend DodgeBall for youth viewing with any rating.

There is some comedy in this script, but it’s never going to be anything other than a stand-up comedy with all the unnecessary foul language and sexual innuendos you’d hear from teenage boys guarding a public schoolyard.

Kudos to the writer/director of this film – Rawson Marshall Thurber – for the sophomoric script and youthful direction. Thurber joins the ranks of other writer/directors who are completely above their abilities trying to write and direct the same film.

Thurber joins a not-so-exclusive club of failed writer/directors, including Peter Weir of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Nancy Meyers of Something’s Gotta Give, Thomas Bezucha of The Family Stone, Michael McGowan. Saint Ralph, Jared Hess from Napoleon Dynamite, Robert Rodriquez from Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Paul Thomas Anderson from Punch-Drunk Love. The worst of these is Punch-Drunk Love hands down.

If you want an excellent film from a writer/director, try Tim McCanlies’ Secondhand Lions or Kirk Jones’ Waking Ned Devine.

DodgeBall is the story of two guys who own gyms – the underdog Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn) at Average Joe’s Gymnasium and the egomaniacal White Goodman (Ben Stiller) at Global Gym. White plots to take over Peter’s operation with the help of bank employee Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor), who falls for Peter’s incompetent, unassuming charm.

To avoid going out of business, Peter has to come up with $50,000, and of course he doesn’t have a dime to his name. It’s up to his misfit clients to help save Peter. Among them are a maverick pirate, a picky nerd with eyes for an unattainable cheerleader, an odd follower of obscure sports, a dimwitted young man and an arrogant know-it-all.

Their answer is to enter a national dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas and grab the $50,000 winner’s prize. Peter’s team ends up in the finals against White’s professional team, and you can guess who wins in the end.

DodgeBall features cameo appearances by Lance Armstrong, Chuck Norris, William Shatner and David Hasselhoff.

DodgeBall was nominated for Best Sports Film at the ESPY Awards, the same year that “Million Dollar Baby” won the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year at the Academy Awards. In the same year, Clint Eastwood won the Oscar for the best film for Million Dollar Baby.

On the other hand, Ben Stiller (as White Goodman) was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actor. That sums up Stiller’s performance pretty well.

Basically, DodgeBall lacks the substance to make a comedy film and is probably best watched by teenagers and young men.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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