It’s never a good sign when a film has a substantial delay in release when it seemingly has everything going for it. Based off a true crime, the 1997 Loomis Fargo Robbery, and with a plethora of top-lining talent Masterminds was poised to be a breakout hit in 2015. And then a number of issues prevented its release, getting dumped into theatres last fall and wound up being an eight-figure loss at the box office. It’s not shocking because bad comedies generally don’t do well at the box office.
Simple premise. Zach Galifianakis plays an idiot who is pulled into a bank robbery. Owen Wilson is the brains and Kristen Wiig is the one that seduces him into doing the job. When they scamper with the money, and a mustachioed hitman (Jason Sudekis) is on his trail, the idiot has to try and figure a way to get out of being the patsy for it all.
The film’s problem is that it’s a screwball comedy masquerading as a black comedy; the film plays for yucks what it could play for some dark laughs. It leaves the film fairly lackluster; it’s hard to laugh at something like this because everyone is essentially trying to play a good guy doing a bad thing. It’s the downside of having likeable actors in patently unlikeable roles; Masterminds wants to be a wackier version of the Coens’ Ladykillers when it should emulate that film’s darker tone.
It’s kind of disappointing because everything about this film screams that it should be good. Masterminds gave away all of its best parts in the trailer; do yourself a favor and watch that instead and save yourself the near two hours of profoundly unfunny moments surrounding the two minutes of funny.
An EPK piece is the only extra.
20th Century Fox presents Masterminds. Directed by Jared Hess. Written by Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer, Emily Spivey. Starring Jason Sudekis, Kristein Wiig, Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis. Run Time: 94 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on 1.31.17
Tags: Jason Sudekis, Kristen Wiig, Masterminds, Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis