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Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls Movie Poster Image
Unfunny sequel has crass innuendo, stereotypes, language.
  • PG-13
  • 2019
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. 

Violence

The lead character's minor league baseball career ends when he's hit in the crotch with a fast ball while batting in a game. Rival softball teams get into a brawl -- punching, kicking, wrestling. Recurring theme concerning the suicide of the person who previously managed the team.

Sex

Graphic sexual innuendo and humor throughout the movie. References to various sex acts. Lead characters have sex, shown in bed after sleeping together. 

Language

Profanity and sexual innuendo throughout the movie. "Pr--k," "ass," "nuts," "nards," "crap," "hell," "douchebag." When a male player on the softball team says the word "bunt" during a softball game, one of the female players thinks he says "c--t" and punches him out. A sportscaster refers to a rival team as the "Platap-ssies." The token gay character makes or responds to words and phrases that could be construed as euphemisms for homosexual sex. The token attractive female member introduces herself by employing a variety of baseball phrases that are also euphemisms for sex acts. Another woman on the team gives herself the nickname "The MILF." A masseuse makes a "happy ending" reference. While working as a landscaper, the lead character mows a middle finger into the lawn of an unpleasant customer. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the softball players is Canadian, and stereotypical humor is mined from him constantly drinking and being drunk on beer. In one scene, the Canadian tries to play softball sober; when his teammates realize that he can't do it, they give him a 6-pack, and he drinks all six beers as quickly as possible. Reference made to being "on Ecstasy." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls is a 2019 comedy in which a former baseball player tries to lead a ragtag group of misfit coworkers to victory on the softball field. This sequel is only distantly related to the 2006 original; the only returning character is played by Jon Lovitz. Expect crass humor, often rooted in sexual innuendo. The stereotypically gay player on the team makes and reacts to anything that might be construed as double entendre. The "sexy female" player makes a series of baseball-themed double entendre, and punches a teammate in the face when she mishears him say the word "bunt." Humor is mined out of the lead character's promising baseball career being cut short when a fastball hits him in the testicles. A sportscaster refers to a rival team as the "Platap-ssies." Besides the constant innuendo, there's also occasional profanity: "pr--k," "ass," "nuts," "nards," "crap," "hell," "douchebag." Some drinking, including the stereotypical Canadian player who's drinking and drunk on beer in almost every scene. Drug reference. Running joke concerning the suicide of the previous manager of the softball team.

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What's the story?

In BENCHWARMERS 2: BREAKING BALLS Ben McGrath (Chris Klein) is a minor league baseball phenom on the verge of making it to the big leagues when an errant fast ball hits him in the crotch and ends his career. Ten years later, Ben is a struggling landscaper, a single dad whose ex-wife despises him while his only son thinks he's a loser. After passing the bar, Ben thinks his life is finally starting to turn around when he's hired by the most prestigious law firm in town, but learns that he has only been hired by the hyper-competitive Stenhouse (Lochlyn Munro) to play on their championship company softball team. No longer able to stand in the batter's box without having flashbacks of his career-ending injury, Ben is soon unemployed again. While drowning his sorrows in a bar, he meets Mel (Jon Lovitz), who runs an ambulance-chasing law firm and offers Ben a job. Ben accepts, and is soon paired with the attractive intern Annie to look into nefarious dealings involving a sewage treatment plant on the verge of being built in the middle of Annie's rough-and-tumble hometown. While engaged in this, Mel recruits Ben to manage his firm's cellar dwelling softball team. The team is a ragtag group of misfits who don't seem to understand the fundamentals of softball, but with Ben's coaching and a couple montages, the team begins to win, culminating in the championship game against Stenhouse. 

Is it any good?

While no one is expecting this movie to be a future classic, this sequel manages to fall far short of the lowest of expectations. There's so much humor drawn from stereotypes, it almost seems like a parody of similar comedies from the 1980s. Viewers old enough to remember the wink-wink humor of Paul Lynde on assorted 1970s game shows will be almost impressed that a movie is trying to get away with a token gay character attempting similar innuendo and entendre almost half a century later. When not engaged in stereotypes like Canadians who drink too much beer, the movie goes for a kind of crass humor that might be funny if it wasn't both obvious and overdone. 

The story itself is the kind of paint-by-numbers predictable drivel that makes one wish that the screenwriting how-to book Save the Cat had never been written. To be clear: This isn't a bad movie due to subjective taste and the inherent bias of those who aren't fans of "dumb" comedies. It's simply a trite and unfunny movie, somehow even worse than the original. If it had enough awareness to be a parody of "underdog" movies, maybe there would be something worthwhile about Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls, but instead, the result is a lazy attempt at comedy completely devoid of an original thought. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sequels. Why are sequels almost always so much worse than the original movie? Are there any sequels that are as good, if not better, than the original? 

  • How does Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls use stereotyping in an attempt to be funny? Can humor drawn on stereotypes ever be funny? 

  • What are some other examples of "underdog" movies? How does this one compare to other "underdog" stories you've seen?

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