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Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Reviewed on 2007 February 9

I know there are people that will hate me for saying this but I don’t care. I’d rather go to my dentist than sit through this thing again.

Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is a nerd’s nerd. He’s also an obtuse nerd. He has a crush on one of the most popular little piranhas in his cliquish school, Summer Wheatly (Hayley Duff) while the cute Deb (Tina Majorino) would go out with him in a heartbeat. He lives on a farm in Idaho with his equally uncool brother Kip (Aaron Ruell). Their not-quite-self-starting Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) comes to stay with them and recruits them to help with his half-baked “businesses” when they’re not feeding Tina, their llama. One day Pedro Sanchez (Efren Ramirez) comes to their high school. Pedro is also a social outcast and befriends Deb and Napoleon. Pedro decides to run for president against Summer, and Napoleon and Deb help.

That’s it, people! That’s the plot! Besides Kip throwing caution to the wind and doing something that makes him happy (won’t ruin it; it’s the one good part) there’s nothing more. I don’t have to have a strong story — ever see Q? - but this thing put my brain stem to sleep. I know that the slow pace and sluggish acting was part of it, but this dragged on like a dysfunctional family dinner. It made it hard to get to know or like any of the people and for something like this to be effective I think you need to like the characters. Before anyone bashes me for calling them nerds or thinks I have a problem with living in Idaho or feeding llamas or anything like that — it was a driving force of the story(?) and I don’t care about them being nerds, I just thought this was just a stoooopid movie. I only rented it because a lot of people I worked with seemed to think it’s a nerd Gone With the Wind.

One chocolate morsel. It was inane but at least it’s an “everyone” movie, I’ll give it that much.



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