A dumb movie, done well, can be very enjoyable.
Masterminds is not done well.
The movie, loosely based on a real 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery, bills itself as an over-the-top heist comedy. Zach Galifianakis stars as David Scott Ghantt, a Loomis Fargo employee who's ultimately convinced by a girl he has a crush on (Kelly, played by Kristen Wiig) to use his position at the company to steal roughly $17 million. They're accompanied by a gang of similarly stupid co-conspirators (Owen Wilson, Mary Elizabeth Ellis and others), at one point a terrible hitman (Jason Sudeikis) gets involved, Leslie Jones chases them as an FBI agent and... It's just bad.
In fact, it might be the worst movie to feature Dallas' own Owen Wilson. And he was in Zoolander 2.
Don't just take that from me. Sarah Blaskovich usually loves dumb movies. Most of what we see together is the likes of the aforementioned Zoolander 2, Vacation and Hot Pursuit. She found redeeming qualities in all of them.
But this one? Well...
Britton: We've been to a lot of movies together, Sarah. Our tastes are different, but we've enjoyed the same films on occasion. But this time, I think we both walked away with pretty much the same opinion: It was not good.
I'm pretty sure I could feel your disappointment in Masterminds while we were sitting in the theater. What were you hoping for?
Sarah: Oh Britton, I was hoping this would be my new favorite comedy. I was hoping this would feel like the funniest Saturday Night Live skits were jammed into 94 minutes of hilarity. I was hoping that the writing would be so good that I'd repeat the best lines at the next staff meeting.
It was none of those things. This was a stupid movie with an unimaginative plot and not enough dumb-funny moments to keep me entertained.
Britton: Agreed. So many of the jokes just fell completely flat. Even in a jam-packed theater of people — a scenario in which there's almost always somebody around to laugh at everything — there were moments that tried to be funny that just elicited no reaction.
It couldn't even be stupid correctly, because by the end, the idiotic protagonist was pulling off tricks that the movie previously established him as too dumb to do. It was just a mess from top to bottom, in my opinion.
Which is a bummer, because individually, I like most of the cast. But I wouldn't be surprised if this is Owen Wilson's worst movie.
Sarah: The only actor who was 5 percent compelling was Jason Sudeikis. And even then, he wasn't great. He was just less-bad than Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Zack Galifianakis.
Britton: What'd you think about the '90s aesthetic they went for, though? I at least thought that a lot of the hair was on point.
Sarah Blaskovich: The '90s-ness of this movie was probably the highlight of the whole thing. Remember those awful braided belts? Remember roller blades? The wardrobe department nailed it with this movie.
Also, like you mentioned: hair. BANGS ARE AWESOME.
That's really what I'd like to say about Masterminds: Bangs are awesome. This movie is not.
Britton: They should put that on the box for the Bluray. If, y'know, they decide to highlight negative comments about their movie.
There's not a lot more to talk about other than "This stupid movie is stupid, but not stupid in a way that makes it good." But I feel like I should ask: Did you ever see Napoleon Dynamite or Nacho Libre? This is from the same director, which explains a lot of things, but I at least liked Napoleon Dynamite for what it was.
Sarah: I loved Napoleon Dynamite for what it was: quotably stupid. Masterminds missed the first part.
Britton: I think that about sums it up.