The Ringer

“I’m in a bit of a funk today, so it’s a good thing that I was already eyeing a dumb comedy for today. We’ve long since established how much I love all things Jackass. Get over it.

This is a movie that really should NOT work. On paper, it sounds like it should be offensive beyond all reason with zero redeeming qualities, and that the people who greenlighted the movie should, at best, never be taken seriously. After falling into debt, Johnny Knoxville’s Steve thinks he can make a quick buck by posing as mentally challenged and competing in the Special Olympics after placing a few strategic bets on himself. It sounds horrible, right? It’s really not.

While Knoxville is known for his offensive humor, the film actually treats the handicapped with the utmost respect. He quickly realizes how ill conceived his plan is, and that these special people he’s competing against are incredible at what they do. The film has so much heart and a wonderful message of acceptance, the special Olympics even gave it their blessing. Most of the competitors in the film actually do have disabilities, and it’s wonderful seeing them have a chance to shine.

Of course there’s still room for some Knoxville-ian shennanigans. But while he’s the star, I still think it’s his special costars who steal the show. For me, the unfortunate part of the film is adding in a romantic subplot with Katherine Heigl. Because what other girl are they gonna get? I don’t think that part of the story was needed, but you know how Hollywood is. I guess I also don’t like the way he ends up in this whole mess to begin with. He’s too much of a pushover to fire the janitor at work, so he hires him as a handyman. Handyman cuts off his fingers with a lawnmower and guilts Steve into paying for his medical bills. It’s just way too forced and awkward.

Anyways, I never thought I’d ever describe something Knoxville is involved in as adorable, but this kinda is. Certainly gave me some of that pick-me-up I needed tonight.”

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