Stiller is a dangerous animal, I think he is probably the only one with enough potential to mock the film he lives in.
Robert Marshall Thurber, the writer and director, is a passionate filmmaker. Often the comedy genre is taken lightly. Though he does not. But also that is not to say that he sticks by the rhythm that he not only develops but succeeds on. There is this questionable urge of his to end all the jokes with a pinch of drama that is to ground all the tomfoolery acts they live by. This lawyer nature of the film comes off pretentious, obviously, but also stinks of desperation. Desperation to reach the higher value than it can sum up, even in a problem simple as such and stakes lower as such. Yet, what saves him, is his first instinct itself.
The tendency to turn the cartoonish characters to 11. And for the most part of the film the characterization of those characters that is branched out in the editing process smartly (in the script itself) and not taken as an uncalled detour just for the maker’s pleasure. The only sequence where it fails poorly is the training montage where our amateur heroes prepare for the ultimate tournament. Now, usually those are the best elements in a comedy film.
But their work is, frankly, lazy. Those series of snippets is nothing but mindless hits and punches and misthrown beats and physical errors, that never for a frame goes innovative. Which, if I may, would describe the entire track of that team. They never live up to the ferocity with which Ben Stiller challenges them. There is no way anything in the film could match his unflinching promise to the character let alone other characters hovering around minding their sub plots and petty issues. He doesn’t care about the plot points, jokes, opposite cast or even Dodgeball – A True Underdog Story.