The Ringer

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/03/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 94 mins

Hilarious comedy with a superb script and strong comic performances - this is undoubtedly the funniest comedy of the year.

What’s it all about?
Produced by the Farrelly Brothers (which should surprise precisely no-one) and sponsored by the Special Olympics, The Ringer stars Johnny Knoxville as likeable loser Steve Barker, who needs to come up with a lot of cash fast.

In desperation, Steve turns to his immoral Uncle Gary (Brian Cox), who comes up with a plan to fix the Special Olympics. With nowhere else to turn, Steve reluctantly agrees to the plan and uses his acting skills to pretend to be mentally challenged Jeffy, in order to beat the arrogant reigning champion, Jimmy (Leonard Flowers).

The Good
The Farrelly Brothers have a strong track record when it comes to disability issues – disabled actors feature heavily in their films and Stuck on You was one of the sweetest comedies in recent memory.

That sweetness is also present in The Ringer, which walks a very fine tightrope but gets the balance exactly right, keeping the comedy character-based and never lapsing into offensive or gross-out humour.

The Great
Knoxville is terrific, giving a sweet-natured, immensely likeable performance that’s also impressively physical – he gets big laughs just from some of his facial expressions. In addition, Brian Cox reveals a hitherto unsuspected gift for comedy and almost steals the entire film with his increasingly outrageous outbursts – he gets all the best lines. There’s also strong comic support from Jeffy’s fellow competitors.

The script is superbly written and carries an important message about the potential dangers of political correctness. It’s also hysterically funny from beginning to end – you’ll be hard pressed to remember the last film that made you laugh this hard.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is a genuinely hilarious comedy with a terrific script and superb comic performances. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

The Ringer
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Content updated: 26/02/2020 22:18

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