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The Benchwarmers - Review

The Benchwarmers

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

ROB Schneider continues to strike out in his quest for big screen laughs in the painful baseball-themed comedy, The Benchwarmers.

Having already subjected cinema-goers to the likes of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and The Animal, Schneider now attempts to impress by playing one of three losers who form a baseball team in order to stand up to a bunch of young bullies.

But the ensuing debacle pitches so wide of the mark that only those with a completely juvenile sense of humour are likely to find it amusing.

Schneider co-stars with Jon (Napoleon Dynamite) Heder and David Spade as Gus, Richie and Clark, three underdogs who, as kids, spent most of their time on the bench whenever they played sports.

After witnessing another set of kids being humiliated on a public baseball pitch by some bullies, the trio challenge the kids to a game which they win.

They are subsequently approached by Mel (Jon Lovitz), a billionaire whose own son is always being intimidated, to enter a tournament he will pay to create in order to help other nerds exact revenge against the bullies of the world.

From the outset, Dennis Dugan’s film seems content to play to formula, piling on the cliches and the bad taste jokes on the way to its drawn-out, obvious conclusion.

It begins with two jokes involving nose-picking and farting on someone’s head and just keeps getting worse, ripping off far superior comedies such as Dodgeball and Bad News Bears in the process.

Of the performances, Schneider at least makes an endearing focal point, playing it straight for most of the time, but Spade and Heder are just plain irritating (the latter, in particular, trotting out his Napoleon Dynamite persona yet again).

The result is a film that, by Lovitz character’s own admission during the end credits, is “a complete waste of time”. It’s just a shame that someone didn’t realise that in the first place to spare us the pain of having to see it.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 85mins