Movies · On Netflix

Masterminds: Dumb, but Funny

I love comedies. But the thing is, in recent years anyway, your typical straight-up broad comedy movie has a lot of raunchy material in it. Not always, but I’ve noticed a trend lately. In fact, I haven’t even found too many PG-13 comedies recently – they’re mostly rated R.

So when my husband and I found Masterminds, a PG-13 comedy staring Kristen Wiig, Zach Galifianakis, and Owen Wilson, streaming on Netflix, I was excited to give it a try.

It’s Pretty Dumb

The movie is about a loser-ish armored car driver, played by Zach Galifianakis, who agrees to help Kristen Wiig and Owen Wilson rob a bunch of money from the company he drives for. A premise that’s… fine. But really not even that important.

What is important are the jokes. It’s a lot of the type of dumb humor that some might call “guy humor.” It’s not sophisticated, it’s not subtle, but it is pretty funny.

Artistically speaking…

One might assume that a movie so filled with dumb humor is not something I’d call well-done. But for what it is, I thought it was actually quite well done. The laughs were consistent, the main character grew and changed, and the plot was believable, in the outlandishly weird world they had set up.

Comparatively Clean

I wouldn’t put a blanket “clean comedy” label on it by any means, but compared to other comedies of its type I’d say it was pretty darn clean. Here’s a breakdown:

A fair amount of potty-type humor; I don’t personally have a problem with that, but some people might find it somewhat offensive.

A little profanity – I believe there was one use of the F-word, and some other lesser profanities were used here and there.

And the sexual material: As relieved as I was that there was so much less of it than in most modern comedies, there were still a few things worth noting. In one scene, Kristen Wiig’s character starts doing a spoof-ish “sexy dance” in front of a guy at work to try to constitute sexual harassment. There’s a bit of her in cleavage-showing attire for the purpose of getting a guy to do something. And then there’s a sequence where Zach Galifianakis and his fiance are taking strange “awkward family photo” type engagement pictures where their poses start to get a little weird and suggestive.

So there’s some stuff, but nothing like all The Hangover type comedies that seem to be the norm these days.

Over All

Yes, it was dumb. No, it did not offer anything much that was enlightening, deep, or had important things to say about the world. And yet, I didn’t feel that I’d wasted a couple hours of my life by watching it. It was funny and light. It did its job.

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