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The Ringer

Produced by the Farrelly brothers, this surprisingly sweet, warm-spirited look at the Special Olympics is about as far from penile discomfort, sperm hair gel and other bodily excretions as you can get. Office worker Steve Barker (Johnny Knoxville) poses as mentally disabled athlete Jeffy Dahmer (geddit?) to rig the Special Olympics and by doing so help pay off the hospital bills of a widower friend who’s short of several fingers following a lawnmower accident, as well as his reptilian uncle’s (Brian Cox) gambling debts. Needless to say, he’s immediately rumbled by his fellow athletes who, rather than shop him to the authorities, figure this fraud might be their chance to halt the winning streak of egotistical Special Olympian Jimmy (Leonard Flowers). Barker has another reason to stay: sexy volunteer Lynn (Katherine Heigl). Those expecting another exercise in Farrelly brothers’ bad taste will be disappointed by this kindly film which remains respectful throughout and never once resorts to being patronising or condescending. The result, while clumsily crafted, is often laugh-out-loud funny.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday May 19 2006
Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Barry W Blaustein
Screenwriter: Ricky Blitt
Cast: Johnny Knoxville
Brian Cox
Katherine Heigl
Jed Rees
Bill Chott
Edward Barbanell
Leonard Earl Howze
Geoffrey Arend
John Taylor
Luis Avalos
Leonard Flowers
Zen Gesner

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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