Napoleon Dynamite (DVD) Review
Author: Britt Gillette
One of the more absurd movies of the decade, Napoleon Dynamite nonetheless manages to be a hilarious comedy in its own right. Featuring a unique brand of alienated-teenage humor, the film relies more on its well-timed pauses and character body language than on zinging one-liners. If you enjoy its subtle humor, then Napoleon Dynamite is a film you'll find utterly hilarious. Otherwise, it might cause boredom or outright confusion. The film has a near non-existent storyline, but what it lacks in plot, it makes up for with its witty and hilarious comedy sequences.
Jon Heder plays the title role of Napoleon Dynamite, an estranged and nerdy high school youth living with his grandmother and older brother, Kip (Aaron Ruell), in Preston, Idaho. Sporting a clueless, unchanging facial expression throughout the movie, Napoleon simply glides through life, getting kicked around, pushed into lockers, and watching life pass by. When a Spanish student named Pedro (Efren Ramirez) moves into town, Napoleon befriends the social outcast. The two drone on and on about myriad subjects, such as who to take to the upcoming dance. Fellow socially-challenged student Deb (Tina Majorino) becomes the object of their affections.
Meanwhile, Kip trolls the Internet chat rooms in search of women, and Napoleon's Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) moves in with the boys while their grandmother is away. Uncle Rico's own exploits add to the hilarity of a film with little in the way of substance, at least until Pedro decides to run for class president against the school's most popular girl, Summer (Haylie Duff). Now, Napoleon and Pedro must work against all odds to win the school election.
The true strength of Napoleon Dynamite is its clan of outrageous characters, characters that are so outrageously ridiculous that every viewer can point out the mirror image of that character from his own high school yearbook or current life experience. The arrested social development of Napoleon and his friends are amplified for effect within the film's context, drawing the viewer into a Lord of the Flies world of Darwinian adolescence. The humor is sometimes subtle, and Napoleon Dynamite is not to be confused with an Academy Award winning drama. But if you like stupid movies such Dumb And Dumber, then this is the film for you.
Napoleon Dynamite is a unique comedy which pushes the boundaries of plot-challenged, immature filmmaking. In short, you'll love it. Most of the characters are so pathetic, you'll find yourself laughing at them simply because they exist. One of the biggest surprises of 2004, Napoleon Dynamite is an oddball comedy that definitely ranks as a must-see movie.
About the author:
Britt Gillette is author of The DVD Report, a blog where you can find where you can find more reviews of movies and TV series. Source: http://thedvdreport.blogspot.com/2006/02/napoleon-dynamite-dvd.html
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