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Masterminds movie review: for a comedy, the laughs are few and far between

Aleesha Matharu | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:46 IST

For such a talented ensemble cast thats full of fantastic comedians, Masterminds - a slapstick comedy based on a historic 1997 bank heist - never actually elicits the kind of laughter you'd expect. The whole audience remained stony faced for most of the runtime, except for a few short laughs at some very average poop jokes.

It's no even so bad its good territory. Nothing about it works, despite the fact that it is actually based on the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery in North Carolina in which a bunch of amateur criminals stole $17 million in cash.

Jared Hess, who was behind the intensely hilarious Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, directs this hapless comedy. The movies stars Zach Galifianakis as David Ghantt. An armoured truck driver, he's got a finance Jandice (Kate McKinnon. But he's also got eyes for former co-worker, Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig) who manages to convince him to help her and her friend Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson) to rob the armoured truck company.

They succeed and get away with the $17 million but David soon gets betrayed by his partners and is thrown under the bus. The rest of the movie is him being chased and then trying to get his own back.

Co-produced by Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, it's hard to believe that the movie didn't manage to take off in any way - it's like the comedic timing was off for everyone.

David does succeed in making you feel bad for him throughout, something Galifianakis is extremely talented at. Kate McKinnon is wonderful in her super short role and everyone else delivers performances that are nothing out of the ordinary.

The verdict

The movie doesn't offer the laughs that were expected from such a talented cast. You'll wish you could have your two hours back.

RATING: 2 out of 5

First published: 15 October 2016, 7:28 IST
Aleesha Matharu @almatharu

Born in Bihar, raised in Delhi and schooled in Dehradun, Aleesha writes on a range of subjects and worked at The Indian Express before joining Catch as a sub-editor. When not at work you can find her glued to the TV, trying to clear a backlog of shows, or reading her Kindle. Raised on a diet of rock 'n' roll, she's hit occasionally by wanderlust. After an eight-year stint at Welham Girls' School, Delhi University turned out to be an exercise in youthful rebellion before she finally trudged her way to J-school and got the best all-round student award. Now she takes each day as it comes, but isn't an eternal optimist.