Masterminds review by Bobby Blakey
Jared Hess had massive success with both Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, but his later films, while still great have not gotten the push they deserve. The trailers for his latest film Masterminds debuted last year, but due to financial issues with the production company it seemed to disappear. Thankfully it has made its way to getting released, but does this story based on real events live up to the laughs of his previous films or will it be a heist not worth getting in on?
Masterminds follows an armored truck guard in the Southern U.S. who teams up with a former employee and her mysterious allies who organizes one of the biggest bank heists in American history. Going into this movie with the silly fun of the trailers, being a fan of all of Hess’s work and a great cast including Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and Ken Marino I couldn’t imagine how it couldn’t be funny. After it got delayed I started getting concerns like most that its quality was the reason, but that is far from the truth because this movie is hilarious. This is easily one of Hess’s best films to date offering up the usual interestingly bizarre characters and laughs you would expect. From the moment this film starts it delivers laugh out loud moments that hit the mark every time. Sure they are mostly silly and childish, but that is part of the fun. The fact that this is based on true events makes it all the more entertaining. The humor here won’t be for everyone, but it had me laughing out loud throughout. Sure it is mostly childish and goofy, but what do you expect from this team.
The cast all bring their own brand of fun to the role with Owen Wilson being about the most normal character of the bunch. Galifianakis is in his usual form bringing an over the top weird character to life like only he can. If you are not a fan of his usual antics then you will hate him here. Wiig has some great moments, but is also the more straight laced character to bounce off of his insanity. The best and most bizarre of the film is that of Kate McKinnon whose character is way out there in the best way possible. She sadly doesn’t have as much screen time as I would have wanted, but every moment she is there is comedy perfection. Leslie Jones is way toned down and not given all that much to do which is a shame, but she offers up some fun laughs as well. The always great Sudeikis brings his strange hitman to life rounding out the team and his scenes are pretty hilarious and takes this film to the next insane level it needed.
In the end this film will not be for everyone as it is admittedly dumb, but I found myself and everyone around me laughing out loud from beginning to end. Sure the real life story would probably been a compelling story, but seeing it taken into an over the top direction like this makes you not only laugh, but also wonder how much of the insanity actually happen and how much was made up. If you love silly ridiculous comedies and anyone involved in the film then give it a try for a good time.