Take three Saturday Night Live regulars. Add some slapstick, and plenty of gross-out gags. Put director Dennis Dugan behind the lens. You've got yet another identikit comedy from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production company. In The Benchwarmers, SNLers Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Jon Heder play three small-town geeks who form their own baseball team, and set out to beat jock ass. Hilarious? No. But however much you won't want to admit it, The Benchwarmers will raise a smile.
Cycle-helmeted super-nerd Clark (Jon Heder), video store shelf-stacker Richie (a bowl-cut sporting David Spade) and all-American nice guy Gus (Rob Schneider) are sick of seeing bullies run wild on a local baseball field. Out for revenge, they form a three-man team "The Benchwarmers" and when local billionaire and former geek Mel (Jon Lovitz) provides the cash, the stage is set for a tournament against a host of bratty little-league outfits, and the nasty jock parents who coach them. Think Revenge Of The Nerds, with baseball.
"DAVID SPADE MANAGES SOME PASSABLE ONE-LINERS"
What more do you need to know? Yes, we're supposed to find Jon Heder getting hit with a baseball side-splitting. And yes, a feel-good sentimentality underpins the, "bullying is, like, really bad" message. But once The Benchwarmers has put most important parts of your brain to sleep, you'll also see that David Spade manages some passable (probably improvised) one-liners, that Jon Lovitz is watchable because he so clearly finds the whole movie ridiculous, and that Jon Heder is funny when the script is not telling him to eat a bug. The Benchwarmers is better than it should have been. Only, that's not saying much.