"Lovable Misfit Triumphs Over Adversity" has been the sports movie pitch since Rocky, and DodgeBall lashed the formula with rich comic sauce and moreish slapstick stupidity.
Struggling gym owner Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn) leads a game gaggle of losers to the Las Vegas Dodgeball tournament. Naturally, the first prize perfectly matches the amount of money needed to stay in ragged-but-honest business.
He's shadowed by a rival crew of dodgers from Globo Gym, whose boss White Goodman (Ben Stiller) is a preening power-prick with a hairspray-bullied pompadour and a wit that isn't quite in step with his swagger (""Go ahead and make your jokes, Mr Jokey... Joke-Maker!""). Stiller is fast making an art out of prancing around the line between hamming up and playing straight and Goodman is his most monstrous comic creation to date. Competing for the show-stealing is Rip Torn's manky Mr Motivator, Patches O'Houlihan, whose coaching methods consist of insulting the team and chucking stuff at them (""If you can dodge wrenches, you can dodge balls!"").
Director Rawson Marshall Thurber takes great pleasure in laying on the wince-shots and curmudgeons may mutter about over-reliance on CLANG! and SCRUNCH!-accompanied ball-to-head/ crotch moments. But, with consistency like this, who cares?
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