The Benchwarmers Review

If you’re walking into a movie starring Rob Schneider and David Spade and expect a shred of intelligence, you have no one to blame but yourself. Filled with loads of crotch blasting, poop jokes, and the lowest level of physical comedy imaginable, Benchwarmers is insanely immature. None of this affects how much fun this thing is.

A team of three childhood losers are inadvertently challenged to a baseball game against a little league team. Yes, three players against a full roster. Spade, Schneider, and Jon Heder make up the Benchwarmers, a team of nitwits lacking the skill of even one player on the Bad New Bears.

Schneider is the exception, a solid pitcher and hitter making him the only reason they win anything. The on-field antics are hilarious, the incompetence adding up to big laughs. The typical sports movie training montage is filled with sight gags and more patheticness, and it’s obvious the cast is having a blast making this movie.

The barely noticeable story is nothing more than an excuse to get these guys on the field. The sheer ridiculousness of three guys beating any team with even a small level of skill simply adds to the tone, let alone ones comprised of little league kids who are obviously ready to play.

Benchwarmers comes from Happy Madison Productions. It’s apparent from the start that this would be at home next to the other Adam Sandler comedies, Happy Gilmore or Waterboy. The humor follows the same path, and it’s not hard to see Sandler in the lead role.

Benchwarmers will never be considered one of the country’s great comedies (it’s actually an embarrassment when you think about it), but it’s rewatchable and certainly quotable. The jokes are lowbrow, and as a guilty pleasure that you won’t admit enjoying to anyone else but yourself, it’s a success. This is dumb fun all the way.

Movie ★★★★☆ 

benchwarmers

There’s a benefit to this Blu-ray edition of the film, though not much. Colors are strongly represented, and their bright shades don’t cause any compression or noise problems. The overall print runs soft, and details are relatively flat. Film grain is noticeable and left intact.

Video ★★★☆☆ 

The only worthwhile aspects to the PCM audio mix is the crowd noise during the game sequences. It nicely fills the sound field to create atmosphere. This is front loaded otherwise, with clean dialogue.

Audio ★★★☆☆ 

Two commentaries lead things off, one with Spade and Heder, the other a solo track with director Dennis Dugan. If you want to laugh, go with Spade and Heder. Four deleted scenes follow that up in the features menu, offering little of note.

Mr. October begins a series of short featurettes, this one focusing on Reggie Jackson’s appearance in the film. Play Ball is a six minute effort with the cast giving their thoughts on the sport. Nerds vs. Bullies is a rather pointless character rundown. Who’s on Deck is a montage of clips focusing on the character of Howie. It’s not particularly worth watching. Trailers end the features section.

Extras ★★★☆☆ 

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