ATB’s Top 25 Comedies: (15) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

This is At the Buzzer’s countdown of the best 25 comedies of all-time. Our panel of 10 cast their votes, and we’re revealing the results one by one until we get to No. 1 on Tuesday, May 10.

And now, our number 15:

15) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (4 votes, 155 points)

I’m being told that Average Joe’s does not have enough players and will be forfeiting the championship match!

It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.

Chris: Look, let’s be honest: the premise is silly, the villain is what I would call aggressively stupid, and the protagonist isn’t all that likable. Hell, I don’t even like the ending that much (everything works out in 45 seconds! That guy gets the girl! That guy gets both girls because tee hee, she’s bisexual! The gym is saved because of public stock and betting against your own team! And so on). But this is still one of my favorite movies because damn near every scene has something extremely quotable in it.

A lot of this works because the folks on the dodgeball team are so much fun. Alan Tudyk sure is committed to being a pirate, isn’t he? Justin Long fits right in as the out-of-his league underdog, doesn’t he? And it’s no surprise that Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn and Christine Taylor play off each other so well.

I also enjoy the cameos quite a bit. William Shatner seems amused just to be there, Chuck Norris seems amused to be Chuck Norris, and Lance Armstrong…hoo boy. At the time, his appearance was funny because he seemed like such a nice guy, but in the movie he’s being kind of an aloof jerk. Now? It’s still funny because he is an aloof jerk, and Dodgeball was just giving us an early glimpse.

As long as you’re willing to suspend any semblance of disbelief, Dodgeball is a lot of fun from start to finish.

Cary: All I got here is that damn wrench scene that was played over and over and over. Saw that more than the movie itself. Which was a good film? I did see it. I think I remember laughing. Was Michael Cera in it? Jesse Eisenberg, maybe?

RELATED LINKS

Introduction

Honorable Mention

#100-76

#75-51

#50-26

(25) The Princess Bride

(24) Shaun of the Dead

(23) Arsenic and Old Lace

(22) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

(21) The Big Lebowski

(20) Young Frankenstein

(19) Zombieland

(18) Liar Liar

(17) Blazing Saddles

(16) My Cousin Vinny

PREVIOUS TOP 25s:

Video Games

Pokemon

Male VG Characters

Female VG Characters

Zelda Items

Animated Movies

2 thoughts on “ATB’s Top 25 Comedies: (15) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

  1. Dodgeball is an interesting film for me. I really love it, but I really wish they’d been allowed to go with the original ending. Unfortunately it didn’t go well with test audiences and they were pushed into writing a new ending, which is where the “everything went amazingly well” aspect comes into it.

    Originally, White Goodman didn’t step over the line and cause a double fault at the end of the match. He legitimately eliminated Peter. The final moments of the film were the Joes all looking really upset while the Cobra’s celebrate and one of the announcers (Cotton if I recall correctly) says “They’ve come all this way for nothing. Absolutely nothing.” Instead of the referee calling the fault and going from there, it ends with a freeze-frame of White and Me’Shell with their heads pressed together nearly crying with joy. The idea was that they really did want it to be a “True Underdog Story”, because in reality, the underdogs very often don’t win. Would have been an absolutely savage ending to the film.

    On the other hand, the revised ending did give us a look at how irritated they were by the whole situation. Take a plaque on the front of the chest that has all the money in it. “Deus Ex Machina.” White Goodman’s rant at the end of the credits about “Good Guy wins, Bad Guy loses, big surprise” where he talks about the problem with American cinema not being able to handle anything but happy endings with no complexity is a direct attack on the changes they had to make.

    1. Interesting. I’d never read about that before, but that certainly would explain a lot about the ending, particularly that final scene with White. I suppose I understand it from the studio’s perspective — “it’s a comedy, we want to send people away happy!” But it’s a shame, because the ending you describe seems a lot better.

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