Not everyone loved Napoleon Dynamite, but you can’t deny that it was an unprecedented success. Its director, first-timer Jared Hess, hit it out of the park, the movie absorbed into popular culture. He’s been unwilling to accept that he may be a one-hit wonder (same goes for Napoleon star Jon Heder) – the two keep making films at a dwindling rate, each more lavishly terrible than the last.

Jared Hess’s latest failure is called Masterminds, and he convinced a long list of famous names to go down in flames along with him: Zach Galifianakis as la-et-mn-ca-sneaks-masterminds-kate-mckinnon-20150426.jpgthe witless driver of an armoured money truck whose terrible relationship with fiancée Kate McKinnon makes it all too easy for him to fall for coworker Kristen Wiig who manipulates him into working with her confederate, Owen Wilson, who thinks a heist is in order. Galifianakis will do all of the work under the guise of love but will receive little to no reward if Wilson has anything to do with it – he’s got contract killer Jason Sudeikis after him and only the law (Leslie Jones) has any chance of intervening.

It’s “based on a true story” which means that someone once stole money somewhere and that’s excuse enough for this atrocity. With 3\4 of the Ghostbusters assembled, there’s no denying that this is a powerhouse cast, but the trouble is they’ve been given a crumpled up tissue of a story and no one knows in which direction to sneeze. I truthfully confessed to Sean that I zachonly laughed once the entire movie – and it was post-credits, in the blooper reel, not even at a joke that got edited out, but at Zach Galifianakis accidentally hitting his head on a swing set (I console myself that it made Kate McKinnon laugh too, before she checked that he was okay). Only babies laugh at people getting bonked on the head, but I had been in a comedy desert for the past hour and a half and I was parched for laughter.

It’s just shameless and lowbrow and it almost makes you feel bad for the dumb criminals it’s styled after. I have a low tolerance for stupid slapstick and this movie didn’t have a single other trick up its sleeve. Some of the scenes literally feel like an SNL sketch gone on too long, and those are the good ones. I have zero forgiveness in my heart for a movie this bad, and I’ll be expecting some dark chocolate truffles and a bottle of Dom with a heartfelt card signed by all the cast by way of apology soon. But not soon enough.

27 thoughts on “Masterminds

  1. Jason

    Good review. I did not like this movie. Its sad because I do like a lot of these actors in this movie, but the comedy (and the movie itself) is lowbrow / stupid comedy.


      1. ninvoid99

        Don’t even bother. Think poor man’s Wes Anderson but with characters who are just pathetic and sport some of the worst clothing ever seen as well as talk in a certain way that is just annoying.


  2. indiefan20

    ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ was pretty fucking unfunny and bad (sorry, “Dynamite” fans,) so it’s no surprise to me that this movie would crash and burn. I like some of these actors but this sounds like a fucking travesty. I’ve had the misfortune of sitting through comedies that don’t get a laugh out of me for their entire duration, and it is not a pleasant experience. Did you actually see this movie in the theater? 😦


  3. Jenna and Allie (@FlickChicksBlog)

    I actually forgot all about this movie, it’s been so long since I first saw the trailer. I was trying to justify it in my mind, I am IN LOVE with that cast, but the trailer was awful!
    Had no idea it’s by the same Director as Napoleon Dynamite, which I only saw for the first time a few weeks ago, but loved!!
    – Allie


    1. Jay Post author

      I can’t believe you only just saw it!
      I like it too. I can’t never say exactly why because a lot of the same gags I hate in other things. But Masterminds is pretty terrible.



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