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The Benchwarmers

Gosh, it's really sad to see the comics you grew up with so out of touch with reality--and humor. This must have been how our parents felt when Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon did Out to Sea.

The Benchwarmers


Total loser Gus (Rob Schneider) and his equally derelict friends, Richie (David Spade) and Clark (Jon Heder), spent a lot of time in their school days sitting on the bench during baseball games. Now, all grown up, they decide to help a kid, Nelson (Max Prado), from being bullied on the field. It turns out his father, Mel (Jon Lovitz), is a billionaire who hires the guys to build confidence in his son. If they play in a tournament and help wage war against the bullies of the world, Mel will promise the winning team the greatest stadium ever built. They call their team ''Mel's Tournament of Little Baseballers and Three Older Guys'' and hire Reggie Jackson to train them. But, it turns out Gus was really a bully back in school, and he now has to win the team's trust back.


These guys make the Three Stooges look like Harvard grads, the Dumb and Dumber dudes look like geniuses. If you thought Jon Heder was an amazing talent and Napoleon Dynamite was extraordinarily innovative, then this performance may be a major disappointment, wiping out any hope the actor can play more than one note. Sure, he may have stretched a bit as the scene-stealing bookstore owner in Reese Witherspoon's Just Like Heaven, but he's even more of a dazed dumb slacker in Benchwarmers. Schneider and Spade have already proven to be one-note talents--Spade's little bratty boy routine is running as thin as is Schneider's hairline. The only good acting comes from anyone under the age of 20, particularly Prado and the kid bullies.


Even though Adam Sandler has personally moved on, he still hires his old pals to do the silly movies he used to do through his production company. We have already be subjected to Grandma's Boy--and now Benchwarmers. This time around, producer Sandler also drags director Dennis Dugan into the mix. He's the guy who helped turn the comic actor into a superstar in films such as Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy. But by trying to create that old magic with the new hot-slacker-du-jour, Heder, and ripping off The Bad News Bears story, Sandler fails. Benchwarmers is just a waste of time for anyone over 12. But hey, if being humiliated, smashing mailboxes and tossing hot potatoes makes you laugh, then there's a seat for you on this bench.

Bottom Line rated this film 1/2 star.