Even if the wrench, the car and the ball have been mastered, one thing that can’t be dodged is the humor of “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.” This DVD offers great features to complement the film.
Vince Vaughn stars as Peter LaFleur, owner of the aptly titled Average Joe’s gym, which caters to a number of misfits including Justin Long (“Galaxy Quest”) as a gawky, would-be cheerleader and Stephen Root (“Office Space”) as an obscure- sports nut. The men of Average Joe’s must stop White Goodman (Ben Stiller), owner of a rival gym, from buying the financially doomed gym and set their sights on a dodgeball competition to win the money needed to save it. Further complicating matters is loan officer and potential love interest Kate Veatch (Christine Taylor, “Zoolander”), the woman in charge of the foreclosure on Average Joe’s.
Like many of Stiller and Vaughn’s previous projects, “Dodgeball” evokes either laughter or disdainful head-shaking. Vaughn and Taylor play the straight-man role well, which is needed to balance the over-the-top characters surrounding them.Much of the film’s humor comes from cheap physical comedy (like a montage of people getting hit with dodgeballs) and cameos, notably, Lance Armstrong and Chuck Norris.
The extras on the disc play up the cheap laughs with features like “Ham and Cheese,” a montage of Justin Long’s incessant physical abuse on the set, and “The Anatomy of a Hit,” in which cast and crew explain why getting hit with a dogeball is funny. The commentary, featuring Stiller, Vaughn and director-writer Rawson Marshall Thurber, lags at times but is still fun to hear. The best feature on the disc is the alternate ending, which, if allowed to remain as the stars and director wanted, would have abandoned the feel-good endings common in most comedies, surprising audiences. Although the alternate ending may be reason enough to buy “Dodgeball” on DVD, the film and the rest of the features are also worth watching.
Movie: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Picture/Sound: 4 out of 5 stars
Features: 3.5 out of 5 stars