Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

That’s it, I’m done. I’m giving up and packing it in. I don’t get it, I just don’t get it. What’s the big deal? Honestly. I love comedy that has awkward pauses, and this doesn’t have it. It’s just films like these that make me just want to stop and walk off in to the sunset. I don’t get it. After months and months of hype and good reviews, and buzz, and fan reaction, and watching people imitate lines from this, I bought in to it like a sucker and assumed that perhaps I was in for a really great comedy that was turning rapidly in to a cult classic, and then on the ten minute mark sirens went off on my head. I can usually tell when a movie is going to suck about ten minutes in to it, and suddenly, I knew this was really crappy.

Right now I think my IQ is down some points after watching this crap , so now I must devote some time to regaining what brain cells I’ve burnt after this junk. Many viewers of the movie are divided; some people love it and some people hate it, I’m in the latter majority. I don’t get what is the appeal of this, you can say I just don’t get the movie, but I get it just fine, which is why I thought it sucked. But I don’t get what the appeal of this movie is. What about this film makes it so utterly charming to other people? The film makes Napoleon Dynamite such an unlikable person and I never really understood why so many people found him interesting.

You can understand the logic behind why people like to shove him around halfway through, but you can never really understand why anyone would like him. His concept is broadly sketched throughout the entire film: geeky weirdo who makes things up to get girls, that’s really about it, and we’re never given any in-depth peeks in to his personality or anything such as that. Most of his characterization is just really absurdly done and I just couldn’t laugh at anything he did. How is throwing an action figure outside a bus on a string supposed to be funny? How am I supposed to laugh at Dynamite being rude to everyone and then getting angry that he gets beaten relentlessly?

It makes no sense, and never tries to. None of it is ever funny, but it was properly over -publicized thanks in part of MMTV (Mindless Masses TeleVision) who played the advertisement for this every five seconds on their station. The only perceivable reason I assume why most people like it is because it’s so utterly absurd and stupid that it must be good. I didn’t get the point. If it weren’t for the MTV media machine, I know this piece of shit would be brewing in a video store bargain bin. Nothing in the story (I use the term loosely) ever made remotely any sense and what made the experience in more irritating was that we’re never told what time period this is in. Perhaps this was the writers’ intention, but it took me out of the narrative much too easily and just confused me. The only real people that make it out of the film unscathed are Heder and Majorino.

While Heder risks being type cast, he does a good job as a geeky very unlikable character and is sometimes really funny. The scene with the time machine cracked me up and Heder is able to deliver with his timing. Majorino who is as cute as a button, is a very fascinating character who never really got a chance to be focused on, and displays a lot of the talent that made her a child star. Much of the characters relied mostly on concepts instead of sketches of their personalities, Napoleon was a dorky yet daring anti-social, Uncle Rico was the sports star who still lives in the past, Pedro was the barely understandable but warm-hearted foreigner, and Tina Majorino as the shy, awkward, but artistic girl in the film, none of which ever broke out from its concepts.

The characters are so horrible, I was actually rooting for the jocks and cheer leaders to win. Much of the film was just so mind-numbing and many of the sequences relied on ridiculous silence attempting humor when really it was pointless and unfunny. You could clearly see what the director was going for with these scenes but he never nails it. It’s just cringe inducing most of the time, and I never saw what the point of the story was in the end, or what it was trying to say. It just seemed like a blank slate without a real message in the end. While the film has some good points, ultimately I wanted to love this, I just couldn’t. It’s a really over-hyped, overrated piece of trash and was just incredibly mind-numbing. I wish I could get back the time I wasted on this.