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Dodgeball

A Familiar Underdog Story

Rawson Marshall Thurber's new comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller is merely the next incarnation of- wait let's back it up: who the hell is Rawson Marshall Thurber? The first time writer/director hits the scene with a rehashing of recent films such as Old School, Starsky and Hutch, and Zoolander. All of which feature (surprise, surprise) Vaughn or both Vaughn and Stiller. We've not only seen this one before, but with same cast nonetheless (I was half expecting the Wilson brothers to drop in for cameos). This time the underdogs are trying to save the Average Joe sweat-box from the clutches of a corporate gym owned by White Goodman (Ben Stiller).

The great thing about Dodgeball is that it takes itself for what it really is: one long joke about people getting hit by wrenches, cars, and yes, most often, big rubber balls. I don't know about you, but that works for me, over and over and over again. Vaughn is entirely believable as Peter La Fleur, an uninspired gym owner who's really just a sweetly pathetic guy. And as saturated as the movie market is with Stiller, he does have some funny moments, a handlebar mustache, and an inflatable codpiece.

So kudos to Rawson Marshall Thurber for neither making a novel work of the cinema nor for telling a familiar story with a new twist, but rather for telling the same story with no twist while still making it pretty enjoyable.