For anyone who's ever been picked on, put down or pushed around, your heroes are here! Rob Schneider, David Spade and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) star as three older guys who know what it's like to be bullied. After catching some nasty neighborhood kids picking on a friend's son, they strike back by forming a three-man baseball team to challenge the state's best youth teams. Now, cheered on by every nerd, geek and misfit in town, these underdogs are about to have a field day in this slapstick hit comedy from the director of Big Daddy and Happy Gilmore and producer Adam Sandler.
Credit The Benchwarmers for achieving the impossible: It makes the 2005 remake of The Bad News Bears look like a masterpiece. They're essentially the same film, with the same lowbrow PG-13 humor (mostly involving bodily functions, broad slapstick, little people, nerds, geeks, and nose-picking), but this baseball comedy earns a few brownie points for its heart-warming message about including non-athletic kids (i.e. "benchwarmers") in Little League baseball, if only to boost their confidence and give them a moment of ball-field glory. It's a pleasant sentiment intended to encourage under-achievers to feel good about themselves, and that makes this loose-and-goofy vehicle for Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder an easygoing time-killer. Parents with good taste should be warned that his movie has no taste at all (it's hopelessly mired in the swamp of fart jokes and juvenile sight-gags), and is there really a need for mild profanity in a movie like this? That said, there are a few laughs in the efforts of Schneider and his ultra-nerdy pals as they form a team of rejects and go to bat against an enemy squad of current and former school-bullies, led by former late-night talk-show host Craig Kilborn. In addition to Schneider and Spade, Saturday Night Live alumni Jon Lovitz and Tim Meadows show up for an easy paycheck, and director Dennis Dugan handles the dumb-and-dumber shtick as if he were on vacation, sipping margaritas and shamelessly going for the easy laughs. If that's what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.--Jeff Shannon