Reviewed by: John Kehrli
|Featuring||Johnny Knoxville, Brian Cox, Katherine Heigl, Zen Gesner, Bill Chott|
|Director||Barry W. Blaustein|
|Producer||Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Bradley Thomas, John Jacobs, John L. Jacobs|
|Distributor||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
“Special has been redefined.”
Johnny Knoxville stars as Steve, who is the ultimate “nice guy” forced into a scam to fix the Special Olympics in order to pay for an operation for a dear friend who had an accident while tending his garden. Steve and his uncle devise a plan to take out the handicap superstar athlete by beating him in the multiple sport competitions. They figure that because Steve is what many would consider normal and not “special,” that he will win with ease. It doesn’t hurt that Steve was a starting athlete during high school. As always, there is the stereotypical love interest, the parallels of facing your crime and the befriending of some of the Special Olympians themselves, but this movie actually took me by complete surprise.
During the first 15 minutes, I was about ready to walk out. It appeared that this movie had no real substance, and I began to think that the idea of doing a movie based upon the disabled was terrible. Then, out of nowhere, I found myself really enjoying this movie. Is the movie predictable? Absolutely, but “The Ringer” is a lot of fun, and something I was able to sit back and enjoy. Just don’t expect an Academy Award winner. After viewing this season’s big budget blockbusters, think of “The Ringer” as a secondary treat, for those who want some good laughs at humor that is not too raunchy.
Something else that I could not help but notice were the many pro-conservative points made throughout the movie—a multitude of political comments that seem to encourage the current administration, as well as a few comments that are surprisingly pro-Christian. I was a bit surprised; this isn’t the usual Hollywood trend.
Parental Warning: I do think the PG-13 rating is appropriate for this movie. There is one F-word, but besides that, there is not much foul language. There are a few dirty jokes here and there, but, overall, the movie is a mild PG-13. I have seen more offensive movies that were rated PG. I suspect they tossed in the F-bomb to avoid getting a PG.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Minor
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “When Steve Barker (Johnny Knoxville) finds himself running dead last in the corporate rat race, he sinks to an all time low… he attempts to rig the Special Olympics by pretending to be intellectually challenged.
But, Barker is completely out-classed by his fellow Olympians, who are not only better athletes; they’re just plain better people. And they’re on to him. But rather than rat-out the rat, they join forces with him to once and for all beat Jimmy, the cocky reigning champion of the annual games. With a work-out regime uniquely their own, they train Barker to go for the gold and, in the process, show him what’s at the heart of a true winner.”
Comments from young people