Pressured by a greedy uncle (Brian Cox) and a pile of debt, lovable loser Steve Barker (Knoxville) resorts to an unthinkable, contemptible, just-crazy-enough-to-work scheme. He pretends to be mentally challenged to rig the... more » upcoming Special Olympics and bring home the gold. But when Steve's fellow competitors get wise to the con, they inspire him to rise to the greatest challenge of all: becoming a better person. Produced by the fearless Farrelly Brothers (There's Something About Mary, Shallow Hal), The Ringer will keep you smiling all the way to the finish line!« less
Margaret S. (morgan2010) from GLENVIEW, IL Reviewed on 9/17/2009...
The ringer is a silly little movie that's fun. Jonny Knoxville, the hero gone bad needs money, so he become s special oplimpian to get it. The real special olympinas in the movie make it fun.
Amber H. (FloridaAngel86) from LUTZ, FL Reviewed on 1/28/2009...
I had absolutely no desire to see this movie... I grew up with a cousin who has Down Syndrome, so I was the first to say no way, no how. But after watching it (at my dads urging), it was like watching 10 clones of my cousin! This was the absolute cutest movie, and they do not exploit those with mental disabilities at all. If anything, they exploit Jeffy (Johnny Knoxville). Extremely funny and heartwarming, a must see for everyone!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Oh My-lanta! Really, really better than I thought it would b
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 07/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pushover nice guy/dweeb Steve Barker (Johnny Knoxville) has to come up with $28,000 to cover the cost of his lawnmower's medical bills. His uncle, who is in serious gambling debt, hits upon the very questionable idea of passing Steve off as retarted, thus qualifying him to compete in the Special Olympics. The disabled athletes, however, pretty quickly figure out that Steve is a poser, but they assist him anyway because of their dislike of arrogant perennial gold medal winner Jimmy Washington (Leonard Flowers). At the same time, Steve tries to win over lovely Special Olympics volunteer Lynn Sheridan (Katherine Heigl), while hilariously undermining her relationship with smarmy fiance David (Zen Gesner).
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this film. I haven't really dug Johnny Knoxville in the past (though I liked him in Walking Tall), and I was uncertain as to how he would play this character. Thoughts of Billy Bob Thornton's Willie from Bad Santa ran rampant in my brain. However, The Ringer turns out to be a funny, sweet-natured film, which laughs with the mentally disabled, rather than at them. Knoxville's Steve Barker is a surprisingly sympathetic character: an inherently decent dude trying to do the right thing, but is trapped into a corner, and ends up doing the wrong thing. While I don't know if I can condone his actions, I do definitely feel for him. Knoxville reveals a vulnerable side that is a mini-revelation. Steve's Special Olympics moniker "Jeffy Dahmer" still cracks me up. Katherine Heigl (television's Roswell) is perfectly winsome and very hot as Lynn. The rest of the film cast is also uniformly very good, and is peppered with actual mentally disabled performers. Edward Barbanell ("Billy") and John Taylor ("Rudy") are both actors with Down Syndrome. Also, all the extra athletes are genuine Special Olympics athletes.
Produced by the wacky Farrelly brothers, The Ringer is irreverent, hilarious, touching and, yes, even a tad inspirational. But was it maybe too PC? Yeah, I would have to say so. The Farrellys obviously wanted to toe the line with this very chancy topic (the Special Olympics gave their blessings to this film). But, as someone had mentioned, one wonders what kinds of unpolitically-correct stuff was left discarded on the editing floor. Still, this is a very funny, feel-good movie, with a (who woulda thunk it?) very likable lead. Guess I'm gonna have to start watching more Johnny Knoxville.
Special Features include: pretty cool film commentary by director Barry W. Blaustein, producer Peter Farrelly, and actors Johnny Knoxville, Edward Barbanell and John Taylor; a Special Olympics featurette; deleted scenes; "Let the Games Begin - A Look at The Ringer" docu-segment; and a message from Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver.
Mockery And Mischief At The Special Olympics--Inexplicably I
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 12/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having seen most of Johnny Knoxville's film oeuvre, I have not been particularly impressed. I've admired some elements of the smaller films (Daltry Calhoun, Grand Theft Parsons) that he's done to extend his acting cred, but have found most of his "blockbuster" work (Dukes, Walking Tall) to be passable, at best, and excruciating, at worst. I'll admit, I was not first in line to see "The Ringer." The concept of Knoxville going undercover as a participant in the Special Olympics seemed like a disaster waiting to happen. In this world of political correctness, even the hint of impropriety threatens to derail questionable projects (much to my chagrin, most of the time), so I just didn't see how it was possible that this story was going to be made. But made it was, and with the full cooperation of the Special Olympics!
With minimal expectations, I actually found "The Ringer" to be very funny and filled with heart. Without a question, I feel this is Johnny Knoxville's best screen performance to date. He's wickedly funny, surprisingly sympathetic, and a credible romantic lead all rolled into one. In a scheme that is entered into with good intentions, Knoxville infiltrates the Special Olympics with the help of his uncle (a hysterically dark turn from Brian Cox). There, he finds it much more challenging than he had anticipated--both physically in the sporting events and mentally as it's difficult to maintain his cover. Of course, it doesn't help matters that he falls for a lovely volunteer (natch) played by "Grey's Anatomy"'s Katherine Heigl.
Of course, much of the humor is physical and much might be considered offensive in certain camps. I, for one, found it refreshing that the other participants of the Olympics were not portrayed as "saints" but as real people. The front-runner, for example, is an outright villain. And when Knoxville is set up on a blind date with a disabled girl, she is dismissive and irritable and downright mean. It's a progressive and unusual view, as most movies on this subject show exclusively favorable characterizations. Knoxville's plot against Heigl's boyfriend is hysterical, his camaraderie in the group is fresh and believable, and his romantic inclinations are well-played.
With moments of what seem like mean-spirited humor, this is actually a sweet and respectful picture. I think most people expected a bit more of the gross-out humor found in early Farrelly Brother's pictures. This is a slightly more conventional picture that the inspired "There's Something About Mary"--but I was shocked and delighted by how much I actually liked "The Ringer." KGHarris, 12/06."
Chad Carpenter | Kentucky United States | 01/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My Cousin and I went and seen this last night. I loved the movie, some parts better then others. If you want to see a good comedy then this is the one. I know there sort of making fun of special needs people. I've got Cebreal Pasey, I saw nothing wrong with this movie. "When the F*ck Did we get Ice Cream...Did you get Ice Cream!?" lol, favorite line of the movie."
Joshua Miller | Coeur d'Alene,ID | 05/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Ringer" stars Johnny Knoxville (The Dukes of Hazzard) and is written by Ricky Blitt (who is one of the head writers of Family Guy). The movie takes a subject that could've been controversial and cruel and instead does it complete justice and gives us quite a few things to laugh about.
Knoxville plays Steve Barker. Steve is a nice guy and when he's moved up in his office building, his first job is to fire the janitor Stavi (Luis Avalos). Problem is, Steve can't do it and instead offers Stavi $400 a month to mow his lawn. When Stavi accidentally cuts off his fingers in a lawnmower accident, Steve needs to get $28,000 dollars to pay for the surgery to sew the fingers back on. Steve turns to his Uncle Gary (Brian Cox) for help and Gary, who's in some money trouble himself, suggests they rig the Special Olympics. Steve is completely against it, but eventually caves and joins. Steve, now calling himself Jeffy Dahmor with an "O" joins the Special Olympics but ends up falling for one of the counselors named Lynn (Katherine Heigl). Things get worse when his fellow competitors realize that Jeffy is a scam, but once he convinces them of what his goal is...They go along with it.
Writer Ricky Blitt had a lot of directions he could've gone with this movie, opting for cheap mean jokes on the mentally challenged people. But, amazingly, this movie does not exploit them at all. None of the jokes are mean or prejudice, but the movie is hilariously funny. Besides the "Jackass" movies, this is probably the funniest work Knoxville has done. Both the physical humor and otherwise is absolutely hilarious (Barker, is that you?). The love angle between Steve and Lynn is a bit predictable but needed to move the movie along. While, this movie didn't recieve a whole lot of good reviews it's really funny and really entertaining and I'd suggest you don'tt pass up seeing it.