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MatchFlick Member Reviews
Napoleon Dynamite
8 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Jared Hess

Written By:
Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess

Cast:
Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Haylie Duff

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Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
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Movie Review by James
July 27th, 2014

Every once in a while, there comes along a movie that makes the viewer go "That was for me." This film definitely is the case for 2004's surprise hit "Napoleon Dynamite". This little film became a phenomenon during that summer, as pretty much everyone saw it and fell in love with it. But why? There many reasons behind that question; probably too many to give a definitive answer, yet the one that comes off the top of my head is that it represents high school to a good effect. Though there are some problems with the movie, it still has a reputation of something that needs to be seen at least once in your lifetime. "Napoleon Dynamite" is one of those movies that is for a certain audience, as well as being a good comedy to go along as well.

The story involves an awkward teenager named Napoleon (Jon Heder) whose life just wants to go smoothly, for the most part. Napoleon has his brother Kip (Aaron Ruell) and his uncle Rico (Jon Gries) getting in the way. He also has two friends that are exactly like him named Pedro (Efren Ramirez) and Deb (Tina Majorino). So when it comes to making friends dances, and even running school elections, Napoleon must use his skills to gain popularity.

"Napoleon Dynamite" is, first and foremost a great comedy. The writing by Jared and Jerusha Hess showcase all the difficulties of being in high school. These include trying to make new friends, getting a date to the dance, trying to win a school election, etc. This is all complemented by the superb cast of this movie. Everyone does a fantastic job, especially Jon Heder who turned out a breakout performance; all of the actors are very memorable as their respected characters. Even the music is a nice touch as it feels like a lost 80s soundtrack full of bloops and bleeps on a synthesizer. The film was made on a low budget, and it shows, but it works out all right in the end. Yet despite all of this, in some strange way, the movie works.

By taking a subject that most people, mainly teenagers, can relate to, the movie proves that it can work within the confinements of its surroundings. What I'm trying to say is, watching "Napoleon Dynamite" is an experience that one has to capture for yourself.

With that being said, however, the movie does suffer from a few problems that can bring the quality down a bit. There are some plot holes in the story that leave the viewer unanswered. One of them being that how could Pedro's cousins know where Napoleon was and picked him up just in time for the dance? And most importantly, the film is definitely not for everyone's taste. Like I said, the film has an audience that will like this film more than others.

Overall, "Napoleon Dynamite" is a movie that has gained a cult following unlike any other in recent years. Watch it, and it might grow on you.

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