Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Benchwarmers

I saw the Benchwarmers last night. It was an accident. I actually got talked into going to see V for Vendetta with my brother and a friend. I had my wife's permission and everthing.

Owing to a combination of circumstances though, we arrived at the theater well into the coming attractions. It was a small theater, and according to the helpful ticket seller, there were still tickets available, but chances are the three of us would either not be able to sit together, or we would be in the first row staring almost straight up at the screen. To me, this was a fine excuse to avoid a movie I didn't relish seeing.

I read the V for Vendetta comic book years ago. I don't remember much about it, but I probably enjoyed it at the time. It was written by Alan Moore, one of the top comic book writers at the time. After reading about the movie however, it sounded like something I would spend a lot of time cringing over had I seen it.

We decided (well, two of us did, the third came with us, complaining all the while) to walk to the other neighborhood theater and see something else. This turned out to be The Benchwarmers, a truly stupid movie. When I say stupid, I don't mean Three Stooges stupid, where Moe, Larry, and Curly are supposed to be stupid and we laugh at their crazy antics because we get the joke. I mean stupid where you sit wondering during the whole movie, "How did this fiasco even get made? How do the people responsible show their faces in public again?"

In order to enjoy The Benchwarmers, you have to laugh at the movie, at the writers who came up with the gross, juvenile "jokes", at the director, who spent time and effort trying to turn a weak script into a movie with no punch, no feeling, no heart, but lots of gross, insulting "humor". Even the shocking surprise that should have added some much needed depth to the movie was flat.

The stars of the movie were all big-time Hollywood funny guys. And they were funny . . . in a stupid sort of way. I won't describe the plot, because there isn't much plot, although there is an even thinner sub-plot, and if you've seen Revenge of the Nerds, you already know the plot.

The thing is, I like all kinds of humor, including stupid humor. I saw Wayne's World II because I laughed so much at Wayne's World I. The Benchwarmers is dumber than both Wayne's World movies, but I laughed throughout the whole thing, sometimes for the right reasons, but sometimes not. Out of the three of us, I was probably the only one who favored this movie over V, but anything that makes me laugh is a good thing. And my friend and brother will get over their disappointment.

One of them complained the whole way home. I had to laugh at him. I am rooting for The Benchwarmers to achieve fame as one of the worst movies ever made. Competition in that category is fierce. Many years ago I saw Dracula vs. Billy the Kid (or was it the other way around?). That's a tough one to beat.

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