Heavyweights (Heavy Weights) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Heavyweights (Heavy Weights) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 1, 2012
This has got to be one of the worst ideas for a comedy that I've seen. The film should be a good comedy, but instead it just falls flat because to me it seemed to use the fat stereotypes a bit too much to create its humor. Thus, the film really didn't work, and ended up being pretty bad. This could have been a great film, but the script was too flawed, the acting was bad and the directing was unfocused. I think this film had potential of being very funny, but more than times than not, it fails to deliver laughter. Director Steven Brill can't seem to direct a good film, and Heavyweights is just an awful mess that actually could have been avoided. If the script was better, the cast was good and the director was more skilled, then maybe the film would have been better. There were just too many bad things going on on-screen to make this one worthy of seeing. In the long run, the film is very forgettable and is not worth seeing. There are too many areas where the comedy fails at making you laugh, and it's a film that simply doesn't work overall. I hated the film, and is one of the worst films I had to watch. There are far better comedies out there than Heavyweights. This film just fails at giving you good entertainment. The film is bad because it uses stereotypes constantly in a form of humor that just isn't funny. Avoid Heavyweights, this film is bad. The film is one poor comedy that simply isn't funny.
Super Reviewer
½ May 23, 2012
Insanely nostalgic. Tony Perkis and Lars are two of the greatest cult comedy characters of all-time! If you want to see Ben Stiller at his most over-the-top hilarious level, give this a look. And if you're a 90s kid, I'm sure you remember this film, too. If not, watch it now!
Super Reviewer
½ July 10, 2010
As an aspiring infomercial fitness-life coach-messiah playing God over a summer camp, Stiller goes out there, without fear of overplaying it, and it might be his best performance -- I think better than the variation in Dodgeball. Maybe the movie needs this hock of ham, since before Stiller's character takes over, the camp is a beloved dream vacation for kids -- motorized go-carts and track included -- who all happen to be fat and still won't ever feel deprived thanks to their abundant candy stashes. They had fun there because no one felt judged. This is sensitive and makes for a great family movie, even when the kids don't get the best jokes. I guess since I'm not 12, it's weird for me to see that all the kids harbor only goodwill toward each other, and only goodwill toward anyone except when they're being effed with by a psycho or jerk. Not that I'm asking for a Lord of the Flies where everyone is as fat as Piggy, but the movies Apatow wrote for adults, in suspended adolescence, didn't divide the world into good guys and villains, which made you feel you were being lied to before. -- Why am I being serious about this? It's a movie about a fat camp.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2008
Great Lines, emphasizes a massive consumption of food, so heck yea.

Update: From the creative genius of Steven Brill (Mighty Ducks) and Judd Apatow? In the 90's, Brill was a stud and Apatow was a dud. Brill peaked here and Apatow must have done some serious Perkis-sizing because after Heavyweights his career blossomed. I bet you no one has done an in depth analysis of the creative juicy forces behind Heavyweights. Ben Stiller out of nowhere dominates this movie, kills it. Goldberg is hilarious. Another 90's kid classic that still holds up.
Super Reviewer
July 28, 2009
i dont believe in magic, but for some odd reason i cant visit someone in the hospital without this poppin up on their t.v. aside from that its a pretty funny one and i think Judd Apatow wrote this?
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2010
Dumb roommates... why do they force me to watch movies I KNOW I won't like?! A few little chortles, but really... not all that funny and really kind of offensive. Ben Stiller is so young in this! But I can definitely see a standard be set for all his future roles. *eyeroll*
Super Reviewer
September 14, 2009
I've never been able to relate to being fat, and never plan to, but still found this to be a very entertaining film and very much worth my time.
Super Reviewer
½ November 21, 2007
Did anyone actually think this was a legitimately good movie? Whatever. Childhood memories, etc etc.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2007
Oh my.... OHHH MY!... YOU DISGUST ME!.. hahahah omg Tony perkis is def. the funniest character Ben Stiller has ever played!!!!! This movie is such a classic
Super Reviewer
½ June 2, 2006
It's not a very good movie. Funny at points, and creepy in others (like with Ben Stiller's character).
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2007
A past childhood favorite and a guilty pleasure of today.
April 22, 2014
This is a true classic. Quite possibly Ben Stiller's greatest role was as Tony Perkis! There are so many memorable quotes from this movie. See it!!!
April 6, 2014
A hilarious movie I loved to watch growing up and still do to this day. This will always be one of my favorite movies.
½ May 28, 2013
This has actually aged very well. I always had a soft spot for this as a kid, but it holds up today.
April 13, 2013
Heavyweights is now more known for its historical significance than its moments on screen. It is here we can trace some of the most influential moviemakers of the 2000's. Heavyweights marks Ben Stiller's first film (his Dodgeball character is eerily similar to this one). The movie is also where Paul Feig and Judd Apatow met each other (Feig is a character, and Apatow is the producer). Those two would create Freaks and Geeks, and some of the best comedies of the new Millennium. It also now looks more like a 90's period piece as time goes on. Heavyweights is a very funny film about obese teens at a weight loss camp. It may not be deep, but it is one of the funniest films of the decade that set the stage for the comedy icons of a new generation of kids.

Gerry Garner (Aaron Schwartz), feels pretty great. School is out, and now he can just hang out for the summer. His father (Jeffrey Tambor) has other plans: he believes Jerry needs to lose weight, and thus he sends them to Camp Hope. At first Camp Hope seems like a paradise: Jerry can ride go-carts and be fast, and he is put in an awesome bunk with camp legends Roy (Kenan Thompson) and Josh (Shaun Weiss). However, the previous camp owner (Jerry Stiller) goes bankrupt, and in steps new owner Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller) son of the lighting fixture king of the Midwest. Perkis transforms the previously fun camp into a prison, not only running the camp with an iron fist, but demoting previous counselors Pat (Tom McGowan) and Tim (Paul Feig) to janitorial positions. Gerry, Pat, and the others must step up to stop Perkis before he makes them sick or hurts anyone with his extreme methods.

Heavyweights falls more in the silly comedy camp, but it is at least relatable to anyone who wants to lose some weight. Apatow, Director Steven Brill, and company know how execute a joke well, especially at the expense of a villain. In the more slapstick comedies, villains are so over the top they become narcissistic buffoons. As such, all their self-serious dialogue is purely tongue in cheek and usually generates uproarious laughter. In one scene, Ben Stiller says "Put the fruit trays away, the insects will be out soon" with the gravitas of Al Pacino in the Godfather. Because of the extreme seriousness of Stiller's delivery, this throwaway line kills, and Heavyweights is replete with dozens more.

The kids used in the film had previously been in other kids films and are seasoned comedy vets. Most importantly, they are not used as the butt of the joke, which makes them instantly sympathized by the audience. Much like a 90's kids movie as well, self-respect is treated with more importance than the initial goal of losing weight, making friends, etc. Self-respect is something all kids crave, making any of these kids relatable to the audience. Their personalities are fleshed out just enough to not make them types as well. Most of the kids get a moment to be more than the British one, the scientist, the cool kid, etc.

Heavyweights biggest failing is being too broad and surface-level as a comedy. Most of the rival sports camp kids are so obviously painted as the jerk jocks that the final competition between the camps feels less important than the stand off with Tony Perkis. Funny accents take too much precedence in some characters, and fart jokes are unnecessary because the dialogue is so good. Also, any deep thoughts on weight loss camps and the people who run them are pushed to the side in favor of a cheap gag. Fortunately the comedy well is deep and clever, but a little more ambition could have made Heavyweights into one of the all time great comedies.

The comedy talent alone in Heavyweights is worth the time investment. Most of these actors were really on the rise when this movie came about, and their jokes have a freshness and bite nicely fitting its 90's era. If anything, you will come out of this movie with some really great quotes. You'll get a laugh if you walk into a room with "Mmmm...can you smell it? There's a life force in here tonight!" or if you have a friend falling behind you can say "Leave him, he's a straggler!." Just thinking about them now makes me chuckle, and like Heavyweights, stay with you for a long time.
January 22, 2013
Before the internet, this movie was an undiscovered gem littering the Disney channel. Word of mouth and the power of the web has turned it into the cult classic it was meant to be!
May 12, 2007
This is a good movie for it's day and is still in my opinion, one of the last great adult Disney films there was. In this film we seen young pre-teen Gerry Garner come into a summer where he wants to just have fun, but his family is sending him off to Camp Hope, where it is a fun way for kids to be healthy and lose weight. Once Gerry gets there he realizes that things will not be as bad as it seems and that Camp Hope can be a very awesome place to be. That all changes however when a weight loss mogul named Tony Perkis comes and changes the camp and basically treats it like a dictator regime. This leads Gerry and the other heavyweights to rebel against Tony Perkis. Will it workout or can the kids expect their summer to be thwarted by a madman for health. Good movie, with plenty kid and adult humor that can make you enjoy this film again and again. I give this a 10 out of 10.
September 21, 2012
HA-LARIOUS! Gerald Garner age 12! haha this is the funniest and most quotable movies! I am Lars and we are going to learn each ohers names! great movie!
July 30, 2012
A cult classic that delivered on the silliness. Great early work from Ben Stiller, even if it is just a precursor to his Dodgeball work!
March 28, 2012
A fun little Disney movie with a loaded cast (ie- Disney took several might ducks characters and blended them into this movie. It got me a little excited for summer camp too.
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