review for The Benchwarmers on AllMovie

The Benchwarmers (2006)
by Derek Armstrong review

Benchwarming is what Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Jon Heder have been doing in the comedy world, so one could look at their preparation for The Benchwarmers as method acting. But that would be the last time an intellectual term like "method acting" would apply to this movie. Moronic on every level, The Benchwarmers seems to exist simply to pursue the world record for "most heads or groins hit by flying projectiles." That, and to offer up some seriously bad models for behavior -- the extremely dubious practice of "mailbox baseball" is actually endorsed as a legitimate training method to help these losers improve their game. Actually, only Spade and Heder's characters need the help -- you see, Schneider's closet jock hits a home run every single time a ball is thrown in his vicinity, which begs the question why he's playing alongside these nerdy specimens rather than professionals. And let's look at them -- Heder, playing a degree dumber and more mainstream than Napoleon Dynamite, who never removes his bike helmet and eats boogers, and Spade, whose ridiculous bowl cut and caterpillar mustache somehow qualify him to earn the attentions of a bodacious blonde. And let's look at the game they play -- a bizarre version of baseball in which their team competes with only three players, two of whom are the pitcher and catcher. If all this weren't bad enough, the script is just as intolerant as it accuses the villainous bullies of being. The primary way it illustrates the bullies' hypocrisy is by portraying them as secretly gay. It's really saying something that the funniest character in this witless mess is a robot butler named Number 7. But rumor has it even he's not as funny as the six who preceded him.