[Review] Masterminds – Not so Masterful

Director: Jared Hess

Cast:  Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie JonesZach GalifianakisOwen Wilson

Our Rating:


True crime stories, when told in a movie format, leave a lasting impact on the viewer’s minds and we have examples of exceptionally well crafted movie based on true stories, like, The Wolf of Wall Street, Monster, American Gangster, American Hustle and many more. These movie provided the insight of what really happened and inspired others to view the event through another perspective. Well, Masterminds is not one of them and it misses the mark with distance between Earth and Mars.


It looked like an extended SNL episode

I have been a fan of crime story movies based on true stories as they unveil the motives and passions behind a crime committed and I was sort of looking forward to Masterminds but boy was I disappointed. For the sake of our readers, I wasted good 1.5 hrs watching this extended SNL (Saturday Night Live) episode as all the characters played in it are by prominent SNL actors. Jared Hess is a great director with movies like Nacho Libre & Napoleon Dynamite to his name but somehow he missed the mark on this one.

As for story, it is about one of the biggest cash heists in the American history which was done by ordinary people who did not have any history of crimes. It’s the story based on the 1997 Loomis Fargo heist in which the amount robbed was $17.5M, and it was all cash. Loomis Fargo & Co. was responsible for managing cash transfers for multiple banks and had a history of working for over 100 years. David Ghantt (played by Zach Galifinakis), a vault manager at Loomis executed the heist with the help of a his love interest Kelly  Campbell (played by Kristen Wiig) and her friend Steve Chambers (played by Owen Wilson). Steve Chambers was the mastermind of how to execute the robbery where after the heist David would flee to Mexico only to return after the heat had come down on the incident and then all of them would split the money.


Honestly, I could not comprehend if the real criminals were this stupid or what.

What they did and how they did it is all available on Wikipedia but how it was depicted in the movie is what made this movie so terrible. The history of stupid behaviors by David and other was shows as they were really really stupid. Honestly, I could not comprehend if the real criminals were this stupid or what. David was on a decent job, conducting the business efficiently but the way he was portrayed like a half ass dumbo is what I don’t agree with. They towards the end he becomes Rambo. Then there’s a hitman (played by Jason Sudeikis) who is sent in by Steve Chambers to kill David but he doesn’t and becomes his best friend.


I know it was supposed to be a comedy but at least they should’ve tried to make one. They wasted Kate McKinnon by giving her a monotonous kind of role which we see every week on SNL, a flat cold behavior with funny lines. Kristen Wiig was alright as her role did show a little range of emotions especially when being interrogated by FBI. She should look into grabbing some serious roles in future. Owen Wilson has nothing to offer. He somehow is still stuck in the ‘Armageddon” era when he first surfaced in Hollywood. Rest, there is absolutely no note worthy acting.


In the end, my conclusion is that had this movie was made without the title “based on true story”, it could have worked but since they attached a part of history with it, they ruined it. Avoid if you can and watch only if you have absolutely have nothing better to do and you might have a few small giggles.



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