You’ve seen this movie before.
A young social outcast male attempts to win the affection of a young lady while all the while secretly trying to gain the acceptance of his peers.
Oh yes, you’ve seen this movie before; it was called Rushmore.
Napoleon Dynamite is little more than a dumb-downed version of Wes Anderson’s 1998 film.
Instead of being set in an expensive private school for boys, Napoleon Dynamite takes place in a rural, public high school in Preston, Idaho. You’d think that a locale exciting as Preston would play host to a variety of interesting people.
Instead of developing the narrative through having an actual plot with well-developed characters, director Jared Hess uses poorly-executed stereotypes and an abundance of mullets to win over the audience.
The best way to describe Jon Heder’s portrayal of Napoleon is to picture what you’d get if Max Fischer from Rushmore, Milton from Office Space and Carrot Top somehow combined DNA to make an ADHD ubernerd.
Tina Majorino, plays Napoleon’s love interest, Deb. Like Margaret Yang in Rushmore, the shy, but cute girl shows affection to a too-cool-for-school protagonist.
The first hour and 15 minutes consists of a pointless sequence of events in Napoleon’s life. We’re introduced to his computer geek brother and trapped-in-the-past uncle.
It’s only with 20 minutes left in the film that some semblance of a plot emerges. Even then a plot is a stretch. In order to help his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez), Napoleon decides to help him with his student council campaign against preppy girl Summer (Haylie Duff).
Pedro, lacking in his English and interpersonal skills, bombs his address to the student body. It isn’t until Napoleon’s performance toward the end of the movie that captivates the hearts and minds of his classmates who have ridiculed him throughout his high school life.
There, I’ve spoiled it for you and saved you $8 and two hours of your life in the process.
Lucas Murray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.