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Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Napoleon Dynamite is a hilarious movie. However, it has some key flaws - one-note characters and hardly any semblance of a plot - that take away from the film's enjoyability. It's a great setup for a movie, but all throughout, I found myself waiting for something better to happen.

The film stars Jon Heder as Napoleon Dynamite, an intensely weird high school kid who is an outcast in every aspect of his life. He enjoys drawing imaginary animals, like unicorns and ligers, and basically hates everything else. He wants a girlfriend, but who would go out with him? He lives with his grandmother and his 32-year-old brother Kip (Aaron Ruell), who spends his days at home on internet chat rooms with his long-distance girlfriend.

When Grandma Dynamite (Sandy Martin) goes down for the count after a dune buggy accident, Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) moves in to take care of the boys. Rico is about the only fully developed character in the movie, a man trying to get back to 1982 and change the way his life has turned out. Of course, his plan for turning his life around involves selling Tupperware door-to-door and buying a time machine on eBay.

At school, Napoleon's buddy Pedro (Efren Ramirez) is running for class president against the most popular girl in school, Summer (Haylie Duff), while also swooping in and taking Deb (Tina Majorino) right out from underneath Napoleon's limp grasp.

I liked this movie. I really did. There were a lot of hysterical parts, but unfortunately, those parts don't add up to a complete whole. The quirky characters were dying for better situations in which to apply their quirks, but all of the plot devices were gathered from stock. If you're looking for a good laugh, I will recommend this movie, but if you're looking for a good comedy, you'll find better entries out there.

Christopher Moyer
January 31, 2005

- Directed by Jared Hess
- Written by Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess
- Produced by Jeremy Coon, Sean Covel, Chris Wyatt

Jon Heder - Napoleon Dynamite
Jon Gries - Uncle Rico
Aaron Ruell - Kip
Efren Ramirez - Pedro
Tina Majorino - Deb

- Genres: Comedy