MASTERMINDS – A Review By Nick Askam



This movie is a disaster, but it’s an entertaining one. I think that, with the right expectations, this will be an enjoyable film. The performances by the actors (most notably Kristen Wiig and Zach Galifankis) were enjoyable. The problem with this film is the plot. It’s editing and cinematography make it feel more like lightly edited improv than a film.

The film that I would compare this one to is Sisters (2015). I think they both follow plots that aren’t that important to what’s going on screen. I liked the jokes in both and was grossed out by one scene in both. They both entertained me and I didn’t watch them too critically.

I liked most of the jokes and found that Jared Hess (director) used them in their best roles. I thought that Galifianakis fit the role of a man being exploited by a woman and Wiig was great even being the mostly straight woman. I thought the small performances by Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Jason Sudeikis were hilarious. Each one of them was used in a small part of the film, but it got laughs from me almost every time. The photoshoot with McKinnon was especially funny. I dug the performances by Owen Wilson and Mary Elizabeth Ellis. I would’ve made those two characters a little smarter, personally. The whole plot seems to revolve around them, but it falls apart when Wilson and Ellis seem to be confused with their own plan at times.

The plot for this film is where it could’ve done better. It feels like the idea was made in about an hour. I know it was based off a real life story and that’s the terrifying part. That something like this could’ve happened in real life. I stopped poking holes in the story at the halfway mark because the movie stopped caring. So I did, too. I found it to be a lot more enjoying that way. The problem with the story to me is that too many things happen because of convenience and the introduction of plot points makes no sense. There’s this tarantula scene that never fits into the story, and I guess they liked it so much they kept it in. There’s also an airport scene or more like collection of scenes that’s a little too cringey for me. I thought “this is ridiculous”, and it was too ridiculous for me to get over. Wilson’s character is also so smart/ dumb at times that it’s hard to keep track of him. The ending was also too cliché for me. I guessed it the second the van was shown. I guess I blame Horrible Bosses for that one. 

Overall, it was funny movie that I wouldn’t expect too much from. It’s not like you’re seeing the next great work of film, but you could have a mostly enjoyable 90 minutes. If you’re in the mood to turn your brain off, then this is the movie for you.


Grade: D

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