DODGE­BALL: A TRUE UN­DER­DOG STORY (2004) ELEVEN, 8.30PM, M, COM­EDY

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - HIGHLIGHTS -

The jokes come faster than a ten­nis star’s ace in this ri­otous com­edy that aims firmly be­low the belt and hits nearly ev­ery time. Ben Stiller is at his best, com­plete with a han­dle­bar mous­tache, feathered hair­cut and in­flat­able crotch piece, as White Good­man, the ridicu­lously nar­cis­sis­tic owner of Globo Gym (motto: “We’re bet­ter than you and we know it”). He wants to take over the nearby Aver­age Joe’s, a down­mar­ket gym for losers run by laid­back Peter La Fleur (the lovable Vince Vaughn). La Fleur needs $50,000 to save his gym, so he and a rag-tag bunch of his mem­bers form a dodge­ball team (the sport, by the way, is an of­fi­cial one, played pri­mar­ily in schools through­out the US) to com­pete in a lu­cra­tive Las Vegas tour­na­ment. Rip Torn turns in a fine cameo as a for­mer dodge­ball great who teaches the no-hop­ers by throw­ing wrenches at their heads, Stiller’s wife Chris­tine Tay­lor proves a good sport as the lawyer caught in the mid­dle of the turf war and DieHard4.0 ’s Justin Long is the butt of sev­eral warped jokes. With quotable lines by the dozen, scores of funny cameos and ab­surd gags at ev­ery turn, wri­ter­di­rec­tor Raw­son Mar­shall Thurber en­sures there’s never a dull mo­ment. ★★★★★

Play­ing to win: Vince Vaughn is in for the fight.

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