April 12, 2006

Movie Reviews: The Benchwarmers

Always willing to take the bullet so you don't have to. I braved the crush of the cineplex to take in the latest film from megastar Rob Schneider, superstar David Spade, and rising star Jon Heder. If you couldn't fiure it out, there was a litle bit of sarcasm mixed in there. I am not, allow me to repeat, I am not a fan of Rob Schneider. He is fine in his bit parts in Adam Sandler movies, but that has been about it. David Spade hasn't been all that funny since the unfortunate passing of Chris Farley. As for Jon Heder, I thought he was great in Napoleon Dynamite, but can he do anything else? I went to The Benchwarmers hoping for nothing, expecting the worst. Surprisingly, it wasn't half bad. Then again, it wasn't half good either.

The movie is the standard sports underdog story. Three losers, all grown up, are called to the diamond to stand up for the little guy, lest they grow up to be just like them. They find funding from another grown up loser, just one who geeked his way into a fortune, and wants to help. The trio battle their way up the ladder, taking on all the tough kids, and dealing with their bully coaches.

Nothing terribly groundbreaking, it follows the formula that I am sure you are all familiar with. If you've seen one of these types of movies, you've seen them all. The film can't really be judged by the formula, you either like this kind of movie, or you don't. The real key is how successul it is on a pure entertainment level.

The movie was actually pretty funny, but the thing to remember is that this is not a good movie. This is not art, it is not meant to be. Most likely, it was made to try to snag a quick buck from moviegoers who are thirsting for comedy. There are probably enough fans of the stars to recoup their production costs.

To talk further about the story would not do us any good. If you have seen any of the commercials you know what the story is. The big thing is, was it funny? I thought it was. Not so much that I would really want to see it again, but for the 90 minutes I sat in the darkened theater, I was entertained. Rob Schneider is the star of the show, a performer of which I am most definitely not a fan. Surprisingly, and refreshingly, he plays the straight man (insert joke here). Even more surprisingly, he wasn't that bad at it. Meanwhile David Spade puts on a bad wig, gains a phobic brother and pretty much plays himself, and Jon Heder plays a variation on the Napoleon Dynamite character.

Bottomline. Not much of a review for a trifling of a movie that I found amusing enough to give any space to. Yet not enough to give it the attention of a proper review. I hope you were moderately entertained.

Very Mildly Recommended.
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