The screwball comedy Masterminds is based on the true story of the October 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery. Taken from a book by Jeff Diamant, the author interviewed the main character following his release from prison. The film, now on Blu-ray and DVD, even has back-up material of the robbery in a special feature called “The Imperfect Crime” included on both the Blu-ray disc and the DVD.
Armored car driver David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) loves his job and he’s a likable employee of the Loomis Fargo Company. David’s trusted so much that he even has the keys to the money room. A dreamer, David wants adventure and has fanaticized about being robbed and made a hero. He’s engaged to the lovely Jandice (Kate McKinnon) who has him on a short leash.
His sidekick is Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig) a beautiful girl who lives a simple life, but wants more than that for her future. One afternoon while taking their usual break under a bridge, she offhandedly tells David that they should rob Loomis Fargo. She even mentions the theft by an armored car driver at the Loomis Fargo depository in Jacksonville, Florida. Of course the loyal David sluffs it off, yet Kelly keeps pushing the subject. David has a crush on Kelly and he’s looking for an opportunity to spend a life of adventure with her.
Like in all movies where the guy has domineering girlfriend and sees an opportunity to break away with a free spirit like Kelly, the adventure begins. Director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) inserts his other characters, like Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson) and Mike McKinney (Jason Sudeikis), into the mix and Masterminds becomes a wild and woolly comedy. Hess uses a lot of down-home dialogue with the characters talking trash and plotting the ludicrous robbery.
The film works as a comedy with Zach Galifianakis in the lead as the love struck David who has fallen for Kelly’s seductive ways. David’s being taken for a ride, but he still remembers his dreams of being a hero. But, it’s that one thing that saves him from going too far over the edge. Zach is back to his shenanigans of old like The Hangover series and The Campaign, two of my favorites. Without him Masterminds would not have worked.
In support Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis turn up the comedic volume and make the film a laugh riot. Wilson’s Steve Chamber is a small time hood who has a couple of odd ball partners that do his bidding. He entices Kelly to turn up the love button on David so she can share in the millions.
Sudeikis plays the hitman that Steve sends to take out David who’s laying low in Mexico after the robbery. He’s a dark character, but thankfully one that has some loose bolts in his brain. A lot of fun, the two prime characters are the best support Zach Galifianakis could have with this script.
“The Imperfect Crime” (15 min.) Featuring the real David Ghantt along with Jeff Diamant author of the book “Heist: The Oddball Crew Behind the $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft” and former FBI Agents Mark Rozzi and John Wydra as they go through what happened during the real theft. It also includes FBI photos and video.
Masterminds has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for crude and sexual humor, some language and violence. Adults may want to watch the film first before allowing immature youngsters see the film.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A very funny film that provides a lot of laughs.
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Jon Daly, Ross Kimball, Devin Ratray, Mary Elizabeth Ellis.
Director: Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, some language and violence
Genre: Comedy, Based on a True Story
Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.
Video Release Date: January 31, 2017
Original Theatrical Release Date:
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray (available as a box set Blu-ray/DVD)
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Video: Widescreen full 16:9 Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Number of Discs: 2 Disc box set
Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox