Review: ‘Masterminds’ Has A Solid Cast But A Feeble Foundation
“Masterminds” is far from masterful.
“Masterminds” is adapted from a true story about a guard at an armored car company that pulls off one of the biggest bank heists in American history. Starring Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, and Jason Sudekis, this is a star-studded comedy, but does it live up to its potential?
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2
Bringing together Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, and Jason Sudekis seems like a formula for comedic success. Unfortunately with “Masterminds,” this is not the case. Even with the additional support of SNL’s Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, the comedic chemistry still falls short.
The film is dominated by Zach Galifianakis delivering a barrage of comedic quips and antics that only he can define. While he was the comedic gem of 2009 with “The Hangover,” the same regurgitated, oddball comedy has remained consistent and tiresome since. While the “Masterminds” cast is strong, this film is only as strong as its weakest member and this is unfortunately Galifianakis. Most of the cast members have to find their own way to adapt to this style. Rather than being new and inventive, they tend to supplement and highlight the repetitious humor. Kelly (Kristen Wiig) is simple, serving only two small purposes. One as the catalyst enticing David (Galifianakis) to commit to the robbery and the other as the damsel in distress. Owen Wilson follows in suit with that same simplicity but does have a few moments of his own that brought slight chuckles. The highlights of the film lie with the characters disconnected from the heist. Jandice (Kate McKinnon) brings some laughs early on, but many were the same you may have already seen in the trailer. The one character that did make me laugh was Mike McKinney (Jason Sudekis). Sudekis has a style all his own in this film and his timing is spot on. He easily caught me off guard with a few laughs and he made the film a lot more enjoyable with his comedic performance.
Despite some scattered character development, there’s a bit of intrigue with the heist element of the story. It brings the characters together on the surface regardless of the lack of lasting appeal. There is fluidity to the story and it is easy to follow, but its simplicity makes it a subpar, cookie-cutter experience.
Overall, “Masterminds” has the pieces to build a solid comedy but unfortunately those pieces don’t fit well together.
Entertainment Value – 3
The moments of entertainment are intermittent. But despite being able to count the number of laughs on my hands, some of those laughs were genuine. I can recollect a few moments that still bring about a chuckle. The major laughs were few and far between so for a majority of “Masterminds,” it’s a waiting game.
I think there’s value for those that appreciate Zach Galifianakis’ recurring character in this and other films. If his continuous style of humor appeals to you then you may find an ample amount of enjoyment. But for me the humor wore thin quickly despite a few satisfyingly jovial laughs.
Re-Watchability – 2
While I enjoyed a majority of the cast on an individual level, collectively they did not leave a lasting impression. “Masterminds” is a film I would probably revisit after exhausting quite a few other films in the genre.
“Masterminds” is currently available on Blu-ray and digital HD.
While "Masterminds" is contains many elements to make it a solid comedy, they are built upon a shaky foundation. I admit that I laughed a few times but those laughs were few and far between. Strong fans of Zach Galifianakis may enjoy the film on some level, but I personally did not.