Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

The Benchwarmers April 21, 2006
The Benchwarmers
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Rating: PG-13 for crude and suggestive humor, and for language.

Three losers join forces to play baseball teams full of bullies.

Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Jon Heder star in a comedy about three guys who have tortured and humiliated by bigger, stronger kids their entire lives.

After they come across a boy being victimized by a group of Little Leaguers, they challenge the youngsters to a game with the winners earning the right to play on the field.

A nerd billionaire played by Jon Lovitz notices the trio after they successfully take on the bratty kids. He sponsors them in a tournament to play a number of youth league teams with the champion getting a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium.

I went into "The Benchwarmers" with pretty low expectations and I have to tell you I was fairly surprised at how funny it is.

Jon Heder basically plays the same character he portrayed in "Napoleon Dynamite" and he's good for a few laughs.

David Spade's trademark sarcasm is in the spotlight. His Richie Goodman is a 40-year old man who's never been on a date. And Rob Schneider, who usually has the role of the lovable loser, is actually the star athlete of the group. Schneider leads the Benchwarmers in their quest to teach all of the bullies a lesson and make the playing fields safe for the kids who don't have as much talent as their more athletic peers.

The plot is crude and juvenile, but for this picture that's exactly what it should be. Cameos by Reggie Jackson, Craig Kilborn, Sean Salisbury, Bill Romanowski and Tim Meadows all provide some nice moments. And in addition to the zaniness, there is also a sweet center to the story. A lesson that everyone deserves the chance to play and have fun, even if they're not as good as you are.

Bullies are dealt some lessons and the underdogs enjoy their moment in the sun.

You may laugh in spite of yourself, but the key is you'll be laughing.

On my rating scale "The Benchwarmers" hits a Double.

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