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June 15, 2012

Movie Review: Division III: Football's Finest (2011)

Independent comedy can be tough to sit through. Occasionally you get a movie like Goon that surprises. I'm especially nervous about it when it stars a name comedian and still gets no traction. In this case, that might have more to do with the star's reputation than the content of the movie. I am an Andy Dick fan, and Division III can be added to the list of his best work.

We learn that Division III is at the bottom of the college football barrel. It's more BS than BCS.The Pullham University Bluecocks are not known for having a winning record at their level, so after the football coach suddenly dies, the school goes out on a limb and hires controversial coach Rick Vice (Andy Dick) to lead the team. He's controversial for one reason. He almost killed an entire kids' football team. Vice comes in with an anger and energy that pretty much terrifies the team. He especially seems to get to the backup quarterback, Mitch DePrima (played by director Marshall Cook). Trouble follows vice throughout the season and leads him from one horrifying situation into another.

When I initially heard Andy Dick making the rounds through the podcast circuit to promote Division III, I was a little skeptical. I like Andy Dick, but when he rattled off the cavalcade of his buddies that grace the film, including Greg Fitzsimmons, Adam Carolla, Bryan Callen, Mo Collins, Debra Wilson and Will Sasso, I thought it was just some jerk off side project that nobody would ever see or care about. The longer I watched, the happier I was that I was wrong. I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud during this movie. Andy Dick was hilarious as Vice. When he commits to something, he takes his characters to amazing places. I also got big laughs from Paul Henderson, who played assistant coach Bob. His character was great, and he seemed to be Vice's only true friend.

This movie was a blast. It takes the typical sports comedy format and bends the rules to fit Andy Dick. Whenever Andy Dick does something great, I wonder why he can't just get his life together and build a huge career. At the same time, I wonder if the craziness is what makes him great. It probably does. No matter what it is that makes him funny, I enjoy the end result. Division III is fun. If you can't laugh with this movie, there's probably something missing inside of your cold dark soul.

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