26 July 2005

Napoleon Dynamite

Nerd movies are nothing new. We've had them probably as long as movies themselves. From Little Shop of Horrors right the way through to Weird Science the nerd has been embraced by Hollywood with open arms. Lets face it-the nerd provides us with entertainment, so in that sense there will always be mileage in movies about nerds.

However every now and again a movie comes along which not only celebrates 'nerdom' but actually has cult written all over it from the word to go. Napoleon Dynamite is that film. A surprise sleeper hit of 2004 Napoleon Dynamite doesn't exactly break the film mould with its simplistic and obvious storyline. That is nerd sets out to prove he's more than a nerd. Only this time there isn't any nerd gets the girl, or nerd builds muscles kicks sand in the face of other school bullies...this nerd stays a nerd.

Napoleon lives with his grandmother and brother Kip Dynamite (brilliantly played by Aaron Ruell) who is a compulsive net surfer looking for a potential mate. Napoleon then by chance makes friends with a new school student who decides to run for school president. Napoleon decides to aid him in his quest for what seems a completely unobtainable goal. Two nerds fighting for support against your stereotypical US prom queen type Miss Popular (played by Haylie Duff)
Dynamite played by Jon Heder (who himself has only ever been in two previous films) delivers his lines with a deliberate wooden style that never grates. The script is bristling with some really funny one liners which are equally given out to the major players in this incredibly funny film.

This is a sparkling debut from director Jared Hess who previously only worked as an assistant cameraman-he ably takes up the directors chair as well as writing the script. ND never lapses into run of the mill film making. It even at one point surprises the audience with what I can only describe as one of the best film scenes I have ever seen when Napoleon is forced to dance on stage to support his friends running for school president

The film is an exercise in self-mocking littered with sight gags that turns the art of being a nerd to a a higher level. Its a comedy film that will make you laugh out loud and chuckle quietly to yourself...a mixture of slap stick and silly one liners.
I recommend this film to anyone who has that silly sense of humor-its crass and simplistic but pulls it off beautifully. Rent this movie now!!

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