Once a reliably hilarious star on the rise on TV’s “The Ben Stiller Show” and “NewsRadio,” Dick’s substance abuse, aberrant public behavior and resulting legal woes have lowered him to one rung above unemployable, headlining the sports comedy “Division III: Football’s Finest.” Its basic structure mirrors the actor’s own story of trying to make a comeback; he even begins the movie singing the song lyric, “There once was a time when everyone wanted to be with you.” That’s more sad than anything, and the movie never gets any funnier.
Dick’s Coach Vice lives in a trailer and has a gimp leg. Once accused of trying to murder an entire peewee football team, he’s been hired by the two-bit Pulham University to give the Blue Cocks — yes, the humor is that low and obvious — a winning season or the administration will divert its funding to “faggoty arts and crafts.”
Expanded from a 2006 short film (that strangely is absent from the Blu-ray’s extras), “Division III” delights in Dick wallowing in the basest of gags. Among other predictable, lowest-common-denominator jokes, he:
• drinks blended shakes of eggs, OJ, Monster energy drink and muscle powder;
• pulls a gun on the team;
• hits and kicks his players often;
• yells “fuck” an awful lot;
• snorts whey protein as if it were cocaine;
• hurls mashed potatoes at a girl’s face;
• bobs an exposed testicle upon the face of one his players he’s spotting on the barbells.
He can’t light a cigarette! He can’t ride a bicycle! He’s hilarious, right? Hellooo, right?
Co-written with Dick and directed by Marshall Cook (who plays the straight-man quarterback to Coach Vice), “Division III” somehow corralled cameos from Adam Carolla and four “MADtv” players (by my count), including Mo Collins, who gets the most screen time as the daffy Pulham president. She plays it as an extension of her recurring talk-show host on TV’s “Parks and Recreation,” http://www.okgazette.com/oklahoma/article-13000-community-the-complete-second-season-the-office-season-seven-parks-and-recreation-season-three.html where the material allows her actual laughs.
I like Andy Dick, and I root for him to put his troubles behind him and return to greatness. But this isn’t it. This is a strong lock for the worst movie of 2012. Yes, already. —Rod Lott