Sunday 20 June 2010

Movie Review: The Benchwarmers (2006)

The Benchwarmers is a a limp baseball comedy that starts with a foul ball and ends with play abandoned due to lack of talent.

Rob Schneider, David Spade and Jon Herder are three nerdy adults who were bullied as kids and never had the chance to compete in school sports. Through the intervention of billionaire Jon Lovitz, and a plot devoid of any logic or wit, they form a three-man team and compete against a series of little league teams coached by the guys who used to be the school bullies.

It's all supposed to be a morality tale about the evils of bullying, but unfortunately none of the characters in the movie are remotely realistic or well-rounded enough to carry any sympathy. Every person in this movie is a one-dimensional cartoon spouting witless one-liners. The adults never grew up, and we shudder at the thought of what the kids will be like when they do grow up.

The script by Allen Covert and Nick Swardson is mostly a succession of fart, barf and spit jokes. Director Dennis Dugan is clearly within his zone of effortless comfort operating at the level of this repugnant material. He demonstrates not a single reason why he deserves better material to work with, resorting, in a desperate attempt at showmanship, to clever techniques like split-screen shots that would fail film school projects.

The Benchwarmers was co-produced by Adam Sandler, dabbling in the junkyard of ideas not even good enough for his patchy resume.

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