Movie Review – Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story
Happy throwback Thursday! Let’s get nostalgic with today’s movie review by revisiting the 2004 Rob Corddry ‘Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story’!
Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story is a cult classic and is loved by all real fans of the sport of paintball. The movie casts Rob Corddry as Bobby Dukes, a disgraced former paintball champion who decides to make a comeback after being caught cheating. The moviegoer is introduced to how this event occurred using He-Man toys which almost immediately helps to suck you in. If you know anything about paintball or are a professional player, you already know what is allowed and what is frowned upon in a game. One of the things that are frowned upon is wiping paint off your body after getting hit. In the heat of the moment, Bobby gets hit and immediately wipes off the paint to the dismay of the crowd. This one crucial mistake gets him outlawed from the sport for ten years.
The film then moves forward ten years when the ban gets removed, and Bobby is ready to reclaim his throne as the best player in the history of the game. As you may or may not know, a professional paintballer needs teammates, so he quickly tries to find anyone to join his team. Unfortunately for him, most players reject his offer because of his tainted history. He is left with no other choice but to pick players who have the desire to play but have minimal skills.
Blackball tries to take a page from the movie Spinal Tap by making the film seem like a documentary. Known as mockumentaries in the film industry, they are difficult to pull off, but Blackball does a decent job while keeping the viewer entertained. Although they sometimes fail, the movie tries to make you chuckle, and it works but not every single time. The subdued satire was appreciated, but you end up feeling at some points that something is missing about this film. Something subtle that keeps the film from being as good as it could have been.
Story-wise, the film doesn’t make much sense like most films in this genre. Throughout the whole movie, Duke is portrayed as a talented paintballer that is virtually unstoppable. His fans were disappointed when he cheated because they were led to believe a legend like him had no flaws and could never lose to anyone. At the same time, later on in the film, a friend of Bobby leads us to believe that he is a screw up that never does anything right. It gets confusing if you over think this which is why its best to have a good time watching it.
If you are not a fan of paintball that usually hang out online on sites like this, it is best to stay away from it. However, if you are, you will get a kick out of it and enjoy it much more because you will get the subtle inside jokes that only real players understand. The amount of paintball players is a tiny percentage which is why the film didn’t do so well, but it will forever remain a cult classic for fans of the sport.
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