I can almost hear the inner monologue in Rob Corddry’s brain while preparing for this project; “Steve Carell was successful in a leading role. Jon Stewart has made some decent movies. Why can’t I do the same?” The only thing Corddry didn’t consider was the fact that he is not Steve Carell, nor is he Jon Stewart. But while he is not either one of those two gentlemen, he is the most recent member of The Daily Show’s cast to run off and make a movie, building off the immense success of the Comedy Central fake news show. Corddry’s project is a film called Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story.
In the afore mentioned blunder, I mean film, Corddry plays Bobby Dukes, a paintball player who was banned from the game for ten years because he cheated during a championship match. Exposed as a cheater, Dukes disappeared and went off to travel the world and find himself once again. Now after ten years away from the game he loved so much, Dukes has returned to put together a team of misfits and take back the glory that was once lost. In a mock-umentary style, Corddry and filmmaker Brant Sersen take us deep into the competitive and frighteningly Deliverance-ish world of paintball in America to show us a tale of inner strength and redemption.
That synopsis may be giving the film a little too much credit, as it really doesn’t come through on the “tale of inner strength” part. Blackballed, in essence, is meant to be a comedy so dumb that we have no option other than to laugh. And for the most part, it does just that. We laugh because we can’t help it, it is infectious. As I screened this one, I caught myself wondering how someone could make a movie like this, so irreverent and openly immature, and keep a straight face. But then again, that is the mild comedic genius of Rob Corddry.