Wringing Comedy Out of
Ringer" manages to be both tasteless and tasteful at the same time.
first glance, to the uninformed, “The Ringer” might look like it’s a
movie that makes fun of those who are mentally challenged. But it’s far
from that, and most of the jokes are on the un-“challenged” characters
-- and some of those are played by the Special Olympians on them,
especially star Johnny Knoxville.
Knoxville is the main character in this familiarly plotted comedy, who
needs a large sum of money to help out a man who’s lost three fingers in
a gardening accident -- a long story. … So he tries to fake a mental
disability to compete in the Special Olympics, where supposedly his real
advantage would help him win and collect the money he needs through his
uncle’s betting on the event.
plot doesn’t matter that much here. The fun of this movie is all in its
attitude and the performances. The fun is also in moments like Knoxville
almost being recognized by a high school classmate, blowing his cover,
and that classmate recognizing Knoxville’s acting “special” as just the
same as things he did in high school.
the Special Olympians are onscreen, they get to put down Knoxville and
later put him through the wringer in training for the competition. In
fact, it seems like they get the best and funniest lines in the movie.
So whatever other criticisms one could make of “The Ringer” -- like the
contrived plot -- it does have a funny heart to it.