If You Can Dodge a Wrench, You Can Dodge a Ball
Welcome to our newest feature here at Pajiba: Trailer Appreciation (I just thought the idea up five minutes ago!) This gives us a chance to look back on some of our favorite trailers from years past and critique them with hindsight. There’s a gentle art to the trailer — you want to interest your viewers, but you don’t want to give too much away, which is an element much easier to judge in retrospect, obviously. Of course, in advance of a movie, you don’t want a trailer to give away all the great gags, but post-release, it’s kind of nice to find your favorite moments all edited together in under two minutes.
We start with a nostalgic trip all the way back to 2004 for a look at Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Written and directed by Rawson Thurber, it’s the rare comedy that manages to both follow and satirically subvert the underdog sports-movie formula. Just look at the gloriousness: a thinner, funnier Vince Vaughn; Ben Stiller in one of his last amusing roles; Justin Long before he became The Mac Guy; Stephen Root in his second best role (after Office Space); Alan Tudyk before the Browncoats phenomenon really set in; Jason Bateman before his career resurrection; and, of course, Chuck motherfucking Norris before he went batshit Huckabee.
After years of Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler shtick sports comedies, it’s nice to look back on one that did it absolutely right, one that relies on jokes and not the yelly Sandlerese or the macho-bravado Will Ferrell gibberish. It’s not the best sports movie of all time, but it’s an irrististible cinematic treat. See it on TV, and it will pull you in.
More than that, it reminds us all of a time when a punch to the junk could still be funny, but a wrench to the head could be even funnier.