The Ringer

Rated 2.0

A well-meaning dweeb (Johnny Knoxville), hoping to finance a friend’s operation, reluctantly goes along with a scheme hatched by his crooked uncle (Brian Cox) to pose as a mentally challenged athlete and “fix” the Special Olympics. Written by Ricky Blitt and directed by Barry W. Blaustein, the movie has its heart in the right place, but it seems to have checked its brain at the studio door every morning before the cameras rolled. Blitt and Blaustein don’t insult or exploit the mentally challenged (of whom there are several in the cast), but they don’t do them any particular honor either. Still, the film has a few funny moments and a surprisingly touching performance by Knoxville. Romantic interest is supplied by Katherine Heigl, who looks like Charlize Theron’s younger sister.