Napoleon Dynamite

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Diedrich Bader

Director: Jared Hess

Every once in a lifetime a film comes along that makes you feel like recapturing your youth all over again. This film does not do that but boy does it make you laugh!

“Bring me my chapstick!” Yup, allow me to introduce you to the fellow who says such things, he goes by the name of Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). He’s a very unique and utterly original teenager. Napoleon is a geek with a difference because unlike most geeks he actually believes that his lifestyle is really cool. A new equally unique boy called Pedro (Efren Ramirez) starts at the same school as Napoleon and they soon become inseparable partners in crime, with their own sense of cool that includes amongst other things Napoleon’s snow boots that he wears everywhere. Napoleon’s smooth talking, steak chomping, stuck in the past Uncle Rico is running the house whilst his mum is away on holiday. Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) is so desperate to recapture his past that he buys a time machine off the Internet. Meanwhile Napoleon’s unemployed still living at home big brother ‘Kid Dynamite’ gets ready to meet his Internet dream girl face to face. Pedro decides to run for school president and with the help of Napoleon and Deb (Tina Majorino) they start a campaign that ends with an unexpected dance finale that will change Napoleon’s and his friend’s lives at high school forever.

Jared Hess has crafted a simple yet gut busting, hilarious movie that hails back to comedy classics like REVENGE OF THE NERDS. The film revolves around the central character Napoleon but the supporting characters are all equally developed and this allows the audience to appreciate the film even more.

Jon Heder will probably always be remembered as Napoleon Dynamite, his performance is so hilariously believable that you would find it hard to believe that he is actually a happily married twenty something year-old in real life. Everything from his walk to his sketches of ‘ligers’ (cross between a lion and a tiger) is done to perfection, yup Napoleon is the man! The supporting cast are all very good but Jon Gries as Uncle Rico stands out with a part slimy, part nostalgic but all round very funny performance.

4 out of 6 stars

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