Review: Masterminds

masterminds-headeradam review


Let me begin by saying I had absolutely zero expectations for this movie, as the trailers looked underwhelming. Let’s see if it managed to surprise me!

The gist.

Who wouldn’t want to rob a bank? Well, in this movie we have three characters that have that goal in mind. Steve (Owen Wilson) convinces Kelly (Kristen Wiig) to flirt with David (Zach Galifianakis), who happens to drive armored cars full of cash for a living. So the three of them attempt to pull off one of the largest heists in U.S. history, in this “based on a true story” adventure. Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis also star.

What works?

Not much.

This movie reminded me of movies like Grandma’s Boy or Hot Rod. Or maybe even earlier movies like Napoleon Dynamite (whose director Jared Hess also directed this film). Those movies are very divisive. Some people will love them and laugh nonstop, while others perceive them as completely idiotic. I didn’t laugh much during Masterminds but there were plenty of people who did, so I feel like my (spoiler alert) low rating may not align with some of your opinions.

While the characters are ridiculous, you can’t say that the actors weren’t trying. Everyone here is putting in 110% but that doesn’t always equate to success. But they’re committed and trying to save this film. The one that stood out to me as being the most legitimately funny in the bunch was Jason Sudeikis, who managed to steal every scene he was in.


What doesn’t work?

Like I said, this movie is stupid. Like… “make your head hurt” stupid. From start to finish, it’s lazy and easy jokes, usually resorting to profanity, racism, or sexism. Those of you that might be offended (or even just un-entertained) by these types of jokes should give this one a pass.

A movie like this works when one character is ridiculous but everyone else grounds it in reality. Here, they’re all absolutely crazy and it gets annoying real fast, most notably Zach Galifianakis who has been churning out the same performance ever since The Hangover. It was sometimes unbearable to watch. Even more unbearable though was Kate McKinnon, who turned her strange knob up to 11 on this one and gave us the weirdest and most uncomfortable performance of her career so far.

The movie also, while “based on a true story,” doesn’t make much logical sense. Every scenario we see is so absurd that it’s completely unbelievable, so when you see pictures during the credits of the real characters, your brain explodes from cognitive dissonance. This story and these scenarios must be so stretched and changed that they likely hardly look anything like the real story that unfolded.



This movie is stupid and lazy and nonsensical, but some of you will still have a blast with it, if you can cope with those things. The performances are absolutely ridiculous, but the talent is at least trying. I wouldn’t recommend this movie, unless you have a fondness for the stupid and ridiculous and you expect that going in.

Rating 2 star


About adamryen

Entertainment. Gaming. Dreaming.
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