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  • by Wes Singleton

Masterminds, C


Rated PG-13, 96 minutes

Typically when movies sit on the shelf for awhile, it's not a good sign, though in the case of the comedy heist "Masterminds," it was the case of its production company going bankrupt. Shot in 2014 and directed by Jared Hess of "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Nacho Libre" fame, "Masterminds" isn't as bad as the delay would have it seem, though it certainly won't rank as a classic. Based on a true story, the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery in which over $17 million was stolen, the narrative is messy and all over the place, but a cast packed with comedic talent squeezes some fun out of it. David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) is stuck in the monotony of driving an armored truck day for Loomis Fargo, so when his work crush Kelly (Kristen Wiig) lures him into the heist of a lifetime with a high school friend, Steve (Owen Wilson) and others, he's all in. Despite a pack of harebrained, absurdly flawed plan, David manages to steal $17 million for the gang, who double-cross him and force him on the lam. With a script that's as overly silly as the real plot itself, "Masterminds" is a mixed bag: some works well, some doesn't, and in spite of the uneven tone you'll still find yourself giggling more than you care to admit to. Galifianakis, speaking in a bad Southern drawl and wearing an awful bob that would make Dorothy Hamill jealous, is inspired casting as Ghantt, the Loomis employee who actually stole the money and was then framed as a patsy; while it's his usual lovable doofus that he's become typecast in, he manages to get some laughs, especially when traipsing through the airport with sweatpants full of cash or in full disguise in Mexico. Though filmed two years ago, it also reunites three of the recent "Ghostbusters" ladies, with Leslie Jones and recent Emmy-winner again stealing some scenes as an FBI agent and Ghantt's fiance, respectively. Hess's direction is serviceable, though some of the scenes, in particular some chase scenes and the unfunny climax, don't seem all that well-thought out, but in fact that would be in keeping with the movie's silly tone, which is amped up considerably given the seriousness of the crime. "Masterminds" isn't the smartest comedy on the block, but then maybe that's the point, but you'll still manage to get away with a few laughs.

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