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Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

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Napoleon Dynamite
 
Directed by: Jared Hess
Screenwriters: Jarusha Hess and Jared Hess
Starring: Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Sandy Martin

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 AKA
"Revenge of the Nerds in Idaho"

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SUMMARY:
 
Napoleon is a less-than-cool high school student who resides in the also less-than-cool state of Idaho. He considers himself an artist, and likes anything medeival warrior-like. His life has been nothing but the same thing in and out everyday, having to deal with his computer geek brother turned karate master and his dirtbiking grandmother. Yet all of that is about to change.
 
With the arrival of a new student, Pedro, and his first meeting with Deb, an aspiring photographer with a slight crush on him, Napoeleon is thrown into circumstances in whcih he can find himslf only in utter awe. "SWEET!" First, after a school dance, his buddy Pedro has decided to run for school president, up against the most popular girl in school, and second, how will he be able to get his annoying, ultra-vain Uncle Rico from ruining his life? It's all in a day's work for Mr. Dynamite, and what does he do with everyday? "Whatever I want to...GOSH!"

POSTIVE ELEMENTS:
  • "Napoleon Dynamite" steers away from the typical humor of many teen comedies nowadays and produces an extremely clean presentation which will be suitable for more audiences.
  • There is sparse language, if any. I, for one, did not catch anything, not even the occassional word.
  • "Napoleon" focuses on friendship and loyalty in great amounts, and instead of the "geeks" trying to get back at the cool crowd, they are instead just trying to find their place without changing what makes them them. Friendship means sacrifice, and when Pedro is in dire need of a skit for his presidential speech, Napoleon doesn't hesitate to lend a hand by providing a skit of his 80's dance styles despite the fact that he may be the lauging stock of the whole school (he is not). Deb and Napoleon also lend a helping hand to Pedro when he has a "little hair loss" problem. Pedro retunrs the favors by offering Napoleon a dance from his date, Deb, at the Prom when Napoleon's date abandons him.

NEGATIVE ELEMENTS:

  • The disrespect of the characters abounds, and while it may be hillarious at times, the attitudes are not a prime example of how we should react to one another.
  • Uncle Rico, near the end, though mostly a clean character, changes the focus of his company from indestructible tupperware to an indecent enhancement.

CONSENSUS:

While a pieces of objectional content appear here and there, Napoleon Dynamite offers us a PG environment that is both hillarious and deserving of its rating. I was rolling on the floor on a couple parts, and it was never dull, though teh first half of the movie was basically about nothing. Near the end, three plotlines are introduced and tied up within 15-20 minutes. A great flick to see, and for 12 and over, it is definitely a pleasant and refreshing experience, carrying high standards of loyalty and friendship.

PS: Stay for the first minute after the credits! Then consider yourself "lucky!". (you'll get it once you see it)