When Ben Stiller puts on a bouffant wig and fakes a silly accent, you can virtually guarantee the laughs (see Zoolander) and sporting comedy DodgeBall is no exception. "Crude, daft and hilarious," Stiller is the villain of the piece as the owner of a Globo Gym who attempts to put little guy Vince Vaughn out of business with a high-stakes game of, yep, dodgeball. It scored big at the box office and even had the critics wetting their pants. Result!
Stiller (in a fat suit) provides extra funny bits in ten deleted scenes, but you'll be left in stupefied silence by the alternate ending - a shockingly blunt finale where Globo Gym emerges victorious and cuts straight to credits. In an optional audio commentary, writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber reveals that he "left the movie for a week" when studio execs insisted he change it. Perhaps this is one of those rare occasions when the suits were right. This is a bummer of an ending!Thank goodness the featurettes are funny with Justin Long: A Study In Ham And Cheese standing out among them. You'll derive sadistic pleasure from watching the puny thesp getting bombarded by balls and spanners for take after take after take. But laughing at the suffering of others is key to Thurber's philosophy of comedy, as explained in Anatomy Of A Hit where he defines "the face and testicles" as the prime "comedy zones". Vaughn and Stiller et al take the hits with manly stoicism in Dodgeball Boot Camp, although the film's stunt coordinator reveals that icepacks took a big chunk out of the budget. And in Going For The Gold, the cast appeal to the Olympic committee to have DodgeBall made an official sport. "It's not just about balls," says Stiller, "But it is."
Stiller, Vaughn and Thurber get together for a bizarre audio commentary where everyone ends up scrapping over who's the biggest box office draw and who ate the biscotti. It all goes very pear-shaped about half an hour in when they each storm out and two squeaky-voiced blokes claiming to be the Farrelly brothers take over for the remaining hour and just make stuff up...
Ah, but wait! It's just a gag, folks! If you click on the Purple Cobras insignia at the bottom of the special features menu you'll be magically transported to the real audio commentary where everyone gets along like a house on fire. There's still plenty of fun to be had though as the lads try to outdo each other for one-liners and cheeky behind-the-scenes anecdotes, eg Thurber reveals that actor Alan Tudyk loved the script when he first read it, but recommended he "lose the pirate", unaware that this was the part he was reading for. D'oh.
Get click-happy for other Easter egg features scattered around this DVD, the funniest of which is Welcome To Nerdville at the foot of the second featurettes menu. (We won't ruin it for you.) Hormonal boys may also be interested in the Dodgeball Dancers featurettes and a bonus car wash scene. A genuinely funny blooper reel completes this package (note: Rip Torn's malfunctioning wheelchair). No doubt, this DVD will have film fans bouncing off the walls in delight.