out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Starring: Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez|
Director: Jared Hess
RunTime: 86 Minutes
Release Date: June 2004
|*Also starring: ||Jonathan Gries, Aaron Ruell, Tina Majorino, Haylie Duff, Ellen Dubin, Emily Kennard, Sandy Martin, Diedrich Bader, Shondrella Avery||
Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE is cast with a bunch of unknowns -- actors who are unknown
for good reasons. Like a reject for a TV movie, the film is an MTV production,
although why they thought it deserved a theatrical release is beyond me. I
suspect that they hoped audiences would embrace it as this generation's REVENGE
OF THE NERDS. The lifeless production has little story development in
evidence. Basically it is just a slice of loser life at a rural Idaho high
school. In this school -- you will be shocked to discover -- the dorks aren't
popular and have trouble getting elected president of the student body. (Stop
me if you've heard this before.) These guys with no social graces, who act
like stoners without the need for drugs, also have difficulty in getting the
popular girls to go out with them.
A better title for the movie might be DORK AND DORKIER, as Napoleon Dynamite
(Jon Heder) and his buddy Pedro (Efren Ramirez), a couple of DOA students, try
to cope with the rigors of their high school's social structure. The script is
so lame that it is unable to come up with a single credible villain to somehow
mistreat our misfits and thereby gain our sympathy. Actually, we'd probably be
rooting for the bad guys, if there were any.
Something like a reverse of LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, the movie makes food so
unappealing, especially meat, that it could be used as a recruitment film for
In his usual deadpan style, Napoleon sums up NAPOLEON DYNAMITE best in a
comment he makes about his uncle's prized home video, one of his uncle tossing
football after footfall into the distance. "This is pretty much the worst
video ever made," Napoleon complains in disgust. I know exactly how he feels.
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE runs 1:26. It is rated PG for "thematic elements and
language" and would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes
Buy movie posters!