The Benchwarmers

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More painful man-child pratfalls courtesy of producer Adam Sandler in this anti-jock sports frolic whose major plus-point is its merciful brevity. Landscape gardener Rob Schneider was once a shy kid who didn’t get the chance to show his prowess on the baseball diamond, so he takes his chance now by joining social inadequate David Spade and mummy’s boy Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite himself) to confront the slick Little Leaguers who’ve bullied the area’s junior nerds off the park. Their pro-geek stand captures the attention of eccentric billionaire Jon Lovitz and soon there’s a tournament arranged, with a brand-new stadium the glittering prize. It’s quite literally men against boys but, bizarrely, we’re meant to be rooting for the grown-ups giving the sporty kids an ass-kicking – at least when the movie’s not wallowing in fart jokes or product placement, which is much of the time. And just when the baseball slapstick starts wearing thin, a final-reel gush of truly cynical sentiment on behalf of the physically challenged sends the ordeal-factor off the scale.

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast: Rob Schneider
David Spade
Jon Heder
Jon Lovitz
Craig Kilborn
Molly Sims
Tim Meadows
Nick Swardson