Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Now on Netflix: Masterminds (2016)

Masterminds (2016) - Directed by Jared Hess; Written by Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer, Emily Spivey; Starring Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Jon Daly, Ken Marino.

By Kenny Howell

Stupid can only take you so far.

At some point, you will need to get clever if you want to do something more than pass the time.

Masterminds, the new film from Jared Hess, who originally got stupid with Napoleon Dynamite, sticks with stupid. Luckily, it has a lot of people involved that like to go all out on stupid, I just don't think it is enough.

Masterminds is sort of based on a true story of a man who robbed a Loomis Fargo truck, the company he worked for at the time. David Ghantt, here played by Zach Galifiankis (Birdman), was a real life, small town armored car driver who fell in love with one of his co-workers Kelly, played by Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters). After she gets fired, a friend of hers convinces her to get Ghantt to rob the Loomis Fargo truck, playing on the fact that he had a crush on her to get him to do it. She agrees, and Ghantt takes $17 million from the office, still one of the largest cash heists in history, from the company.

The plan was for Ghantt to go to Mexico with just enough money that would not cause suspicion, then he would be wired small amounts of money until the heat died down. After that, the others would join him. However, these weren't the smartest people in the world, so it all goes to crap.

Masterminds is dumb, but Galifiankis, Wiig, Owen Wilson (Inherent Vice), Jason Sudeikis (Sleeping With Other People) and Kate McKinnon are all willing to go there. It just never really rises above that, and gross out jokes and physical comedy only goes so far. The movie has the most fun with the small North Carolina town hick jokes, but you can't base a film on that. That makes it end up feeling like a missed opportunity.

Masterminds is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **

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