Inspired by an incredible but true story!
Explosive diarrhea, vaginal itch, boogers, and booby jokes abound in Masterminds, which distinguishes itself only by corralling an impressive number of A-list comic actors and a director (Jared Hess, Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre) with a proven gift for crafting quirky, oddball hi-jinks, in order to produce one of the unfunniest cinematic endurance tests I’ve ever experienced.
Sure enough, the plot poaches details from an October, 1997 Loomis Fargo bank vault robbery that netted over seventeen million dollars, making it the third biggest cash robbery in U.S. history. Coincidentally, the second biggest cash heist in U.S. history had just been committed in March of that same year, when a Florida-based Loomis Fargo employee stole just over eighteen million from the armored car he was driving.
Watching this story on the news gives Charlotte, North Carolina’s Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson, Meet the Parents) and his longtime friend Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids) an idea. Ms. Campbell had until recently worked as an armored car driver for Loomis Fargo herself, and knew from experience that every trip she made for the company involved hauling millions.
Her extremely gullible friend David Ghannt (Zach Galifianakis, The Hangover) still works there and try as he might have, he never could hide his enormous crush on her. Armed with that information, Kelly devises a plan: She convinces David that the feeling is mutual, while persuading him to rob the vault so that they can run off to Mexico. She’ll join him there, of course–later on, once the heat dies down.
Once the heist has been pulled off and Ghannt waits for Kelly to join him, Chambers executes a part of the plan Kelly never knew anything about: he’s dispatched a paid assassin (Jason Sudeikis, We’re the Millers) to track down and kill Ghannt. Why? Well, it keeps him from fingering his accomplices, for one thing, and with him gone, there’s more loot to split between them. Smart, right?
As if. Apparently, the film makers believed that smart was all wrong for this here project, so every character behaves as if lobotomized. Here’s a prime example:
Rendezvousing in a cafe, Ghantt and Kelly share an awkward embrace, interrupted when a thorn from the roses he brought her pricks her decolletage and draws a trickle of blood, which apparently confuses Ghantt:
Ghantt: Why isn’t it milk?
Just so we’re straight here: this isn’t a pre-pubescent middle-schooler, but a grown-ass man, doing the asking—albeit, one that looks like an Oompa Loompa and affects Gomer Pyle’s southern ‘twang. Now you’d figure that such a ridiculous question must surely be the set-up for a hilarious comeback, right? Get ready.
Kelly: I think you have to have a baby to have milk.
For the record, three screenwriters are credited for this.
Fox brings Masterminds to Blu-ray looking and sounding much better than it ever had a right to, and they’ve thrown in a DVD copy of the film and its bonus features, to boot.
Speaking of, there’s a documentary called The Imperfect Crime, which artfully details the real story of the robbery in just under twenty minutes and leaves you wanting more. There’s also a copy of the Masterminds theatrical trailer, which only prolongs the agony if you’ve already watched the movie.