“Masterminds” is a comedy based on the true story of one of the largest bank heists in America… and one of the most simplistic minds there is. Galifianakis plays David Ghantt who would do anything for the woman of his dreams. Galifianakis would do anything for a role, going as far as “sharting” in a pool for this one. Okay! I couldn’t help myself. I laughed at that. Sometimes the really stupid funny makes me giggle and this is about as stupid as they come.
Based in North Carolina, Hess uses every southern stereotype he could find from wood paneling on all the walls to a high-rise double-wide trailer to the hicks in them but the worst is the extra nauseatingly thick accent Galifianakis uses. It gets old very fast but there’s something about his comedy in this movie that you can’t help but find amusing and enjoy. I’d guess it’s his chemistry with director Jared Hess of “Nacho Libre” and “Napoleon Dynamite” that works to create a blissfully ignorant hayseed who is somehow still smart enough to pull of a 17 million dollar heist for the woman he loves, Kelly (Wiig), who is not his fiancé, might I add. His fiancé is Jandice and portrayed by McKinnon who does white trash brilliantly and the only way to describe her character is “weird”. McKinnon is always good at weird but this Jandice character goes way beyond the norm. Wiig, executes the love interest in the film and is, for the most part, playing straight for a change. There are a few laughs from her but it seems oddly fitting that she is the balance to all of the crazy going on; you expect insane from her in a film like this but when she delivers compassion and caring for someone getting taken advantage of, the story seems more real.
Kelly gets David to help her and her pals steal the money and behind his back they have planned on David to also be the fall guy. Steve Chambers (Wilson) is running the show and after David steals the money from Loomis, Fargo & Co., which becomes the second largest cash robbery in U.S. history, even appearing on shows like “America’s Most Wanted” because of it, he sends David to Mexico with a small allowance until things cool down and they “meet up with him later.” While they are living the good life, he’s in Mexico waiting for his girl. So, perhaps the David in the film isn’t so far removed from reality. However, feeling the pain of being the patsy, perhaps an exaggerated film of bringing them all to justice was his best revenge.
The sight gags in “Masterminds” are great. The characters are grotesquely over-the-top and you’ll laugh but to dig deeper into what you’re seeing, the structure isn’t there and doesn’t hold up. It feels as if you’re clicking on Youtube, looking for the funny clips and all the while not as entertained in-between the clicks. However, the costume changes and bizarre you get from Galifianakis and then the relationship that develops between him and the man sent to kill him, Mike McKinney (Sudeikis), makes this absurd film one to take a peek at. It has that “Napoleon Dynamite” feel to it and I wouldn’t be surprised if it picks up momentum with people watching this more than once to take it all in again and to perhaps take another look at the characters to figure out who may have taken the still missing two million dollars. Now you’re interested. By the way, stay at the end for some extra fun stuff.