Though co-produced by the ribald Farrelly Brothers (“There's Something About Mary”), “The Ringer” manages to avoid offending anyone -- the handicapped athletes are a savvy bunch -- but it also fails to provide any semblance of intelligence or wit. Knoxville's one-note performance is particularly grating, but pretty much everyone in the film strikes a single pose. The half-star goes to veteran talent Cox (“Red Eye”), who manages to bring a dollop of character and a few laughs to what is otherwise the feeblest movie of the year. Starring Johnny Knoxville, Brian Cox, Katherine Heigl and Jed Rees. Directed by Barry W. Blaustein. Written by Ricky Blitt. Produced by Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Bradley Thomas and John Jacobs. A Fox Searchlight release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and some drug references. Running time: 93 min
Stuck with a $28,000 medical bill, sad sack Steve (Johnny Knoxville) is in a jam. But his sleazy uncle Gary (Brian Cox), who owes money to mobsters, has an idea: Why not fix the Special Olympics, a sports competition for the developmentally challenged, by having Steve pose as one of the athletes, and then bet against the games' reigning superstar, Jimmy (Leonard Earl Howze)?