After missing out on yet another movie that I wanted to see in movie theaters, I finally had my opportunity to see Benchwarmers when my now fiance brought it over while we were dating. What started out as a great makeout movie, quickly turned into me pushing her away so that I could watch the movie as it unfolded.
The basis premise of the movie is that these young kids are constantly being picked on by bigger, stronger bullies, much as in real life. Gus, Richie, and Clark, played by Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Jon Heder, watch as a particular child, is picked on regularly.
One day, the threesome decides to play a game of baseball and these bully kids from a local baseball team try to kick them off of the field. They refuse and tell them that they will play the entire team for the field with only the three of them on their team. The bully team agrees and so the concept of the movie begins.
Throughout the movie, Gus (Rob Schneider) is trying to deal with his past in which he was a bully. Of course everyone assumes that he was bullied himself, because he is a member of a team called the Benchwarmers, which goes around and plays against the much younger local teams in an attempt to win their very own stadium, which Mel (Jon Lovitz) puts up as a prize to the winner of his competition. The idea is that nerds everywhere will be inspired by the Benchwarmers and learn to stick up for themselves and take pride in who they are.
The movie is laced with the development of relationships throughout. Sometimes the relationships are borderline ridiculous, but in the end the nerds win out, gain their respect, and change how they are dealt with in the local area. The result is that they gain much more respect, and finally Gus is able to deal with the demons that haunted him for years.
The acting throughout the movie was probably one of the parts that would make people hate it. The actors didn't really mesh well together, especially in the beginning, when it seemed like the script was extremely forced. As the movie goes on however, the actors come together more and it seems much more natural than it did originally.
However, the majority of the movie featured a lot of aukward scenes that were created for hilarity, but made for really horrible actor to actor engagements. For me this made the movie somewhat funnier, but many of friends found this to be a major turnoff with the movie.
As for the cast, it is filled with big name actors, and even the great Reggie Jackson. You really can't get through a single scene of this movie without noticing a new high profile actor. This of course really adds to the movie, but with so many actors with big names, I'm assuming this is what made the acting seem rough as writers attempted to give each actor quality roles.
This is probably one of the funniest movies I have ever seen! While the acting wasn't the greatest, the actual concepts throughout the movie truly made up for it. The movie featured a brother that was afraid of the sun, and a lot of the movie was spent trying to get this brother to come to the games and watch his brother play and fight his own personal issues with being in the sun. He also had issues with eating sun tan lotion, which was somewhat unusual, but really made the movie.
Other characters had issues holding onto the baseball bat, so scene after scene you would see the bat fly out of their hands and kill something, break something, or do something funny. This of course is a concept that is really played out, however, it was worked into this movie particularly well and made the idea funny all over again.
There were other issues with secret gay lovers, midgets in castles, and science fiction nerd mansions. The number of different humor concepts throughout this movie really made for an excellent viewing.
The movie was almost a non-stop laugh fest and I found myself ignoring my then girlfriend for the entirety of the movie so that I could watch to see what was happening next. The movie was just incredibly funny.
Cast of Characters
Rob Schneider ... Gus
David Spade ... Richie
Jon Heder ... Clark
Jon Lovitz ... Mel
Craig Kilborn ... Jerry
Molly Sims ... Liz
Tim Meadows ... Wayne
Nick Swardson ... Howie
Erinn Bartlett ... Salad Girl/Sarah
Amaury Nolasco ... Carlos
Bill Romanowski ... Karl
Sean Salisbury ... Brad
Matt Weinberg ... Kyle
John Farley ... Swimmer Boy
Reggie Jackson ... Himself
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older
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