Napoleon Dynamite -
Rating: 9/10
Genre: Comedy

Starring: Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell

Directed by: Jared Hess

Written by: Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess

Length: 82 minutes

Rated: PG for thematic elements and language

Jon Gries, Jon Heder, and Aaron Ruell

An alienated teen deals with the horrors of high school and his strange family.

The opening scene of this movie sets the tone: Jon Heder as geeky, outcast Napoleon Dynamite waiting for the bus standing in front of his house slouching and vacantly staring straight ahead with his mouth hanging slightly open and his eye mostly closed; the bus pulls up and Napoleon gets on a bus full of kids half his size, as he sits down one of them asks him, “What are you going to do today Napoleon?” and he replies in a voice of childish resentment “Whatever I want. God!” And he then proceeds to tie a piece of string to an action figure and dangle it out the window of the bus to drag in the road. From that moment on, I knew this movie would be genius.

Napoleon is a high school student in a small town in Idaho where he frequently gets beat up and made fun of by the stronger and more popular kids. He befriends a new student recently arrived from Mexico and together they maneuver such high school atrocities as a school dance, student body elections, and dating.

Bizarre? Yes. But also utterly brilliant. This movie is for anyone who was misunderstood, outcast, beat up, or labeled ‘geek’ in high school. It is admittedly different from the general run-of-the-mill comedy one sees these days, and for that I am profoundly happy. It is so refreshing to see an original and genuinely humorous movie in the theaters. The characters are perfectly portrayed by actors who have mercifully been able to avoid the usual Hollywood trash of recent years. The cinematography, set design, props, and costumes all combine to make the view feel like he really is experiencing this hellish high school that seems stuck in the 1980s.

In short: bless the independent film market and go see this movie.

Napoleon Dynamite (Advance)
Napoleon Dynamite (Advance)
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