Masterminds 2016 ***


Somewhat erratically released due to the misfortunes of Relativity Media, Masterminds in a return to the ancient comic staple of the idiot bank-heist. From Palookaville to Welcome to Collinwood, it’s a tried and tested route, and Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite)’s film is aided by being based on true events. Reuniting most of the key players from the Ghostbusters reboot (SNL’s Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig), it gives center-stage to Zack Gilifianakis as David Ghantt, a hirsute security-detail employee who is lured into being a stooge by comely ex-employee Kelly (Wiig). The details of the heist are presumably much exaggerated, since they fall on the side of slapstick, and there’s extra life due to support from Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis as a hit man. While not exactly polished due to some cringe-worthy fart-jokes and caricatures, Masterminds may yet find an audience due to some full-blooded pratfalls and a willingness to find humour in some rather dark corners of US life.


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