Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

Napoleon Dynamite is a perfect example of why indie films scored big this year. The film was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004 and has quickly become eligible for cult classic status. Unpretentious, quirky and just left of mainstream, the movie follows the mundane, often humiliating experiences of Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder), a Preston, Idaho, high school student and world-class nerd. Dynamite's eccentric home life, juxtaposed with his utter inability to successfully navigate even the most basic social situations, makes for a series of hilarious scenes and one-liners. The movie lacks a strong plot, but then that's the point: There isn't much going on in Preston, Idaho, after all, and Napoleon's life is basically aimless.

Written and directed by Jared Hess, with the help of his wife, Jerusha Hess, Napoleon Dynamite has been lauded for its original and unexpected perspective. Hess, 26, hails from Preston himself, and he depicts his hometown with the sarcasm and lack of sentimentality that can be mustered only by one who has suffered long years of youth in a stiflingly empty place. Though the film takes some wicked and snarky shots at the lives of rural geeks, Hess avoids the offensive: there's no foul language, sex, violence (other than some general bullying) or drugs. There's not even any caffeine in this movie.

Certain details are too precious to be hilarious though, such as Dynamite's astute milk taste testing skills and his skinny, effeminate older brother's transformation into a wannabe thug. Still, Heder pulls off the kitschy nerd with conviction and finesse. Dynamite dons impressive geek attire: moon boots tugged up over his pants and lame screen-printed T-shirts, along with Velcro folders filled with pencil renderings of "ligers," Napoleon's favorite animal (a lion and a tiger mixed). You may be rooting for poor Napoleon, but you still laugh when he's teased, neglected and rejected, mostly because his antics warrant the treatment.

Movie review and entertainment Web sites have message boards filled with favorite lines and scenes from the movie, and replicated apparel and props from the film are a big hit. There are sure to be plenty of Napoleon Dynamites wandering around next Halloween.

Some people just don't understand Napoleon Dynamite, but then some people don't get what's so cool about being a geek.

Publication date: 1/06/04

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Reunited We Stand
  • Reunited We Stand

    With major provisions of Trump's executive order put on temporary hold, 11 Iraqi refugees reunite with their families in Spokane
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Working Blue
  • Working Blue

    Spokane police officer under fire for profanity; plus, Tomi Lahren — and her opinions — are coming to town
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • 'Cautiously Optimistic'
  • 'Cautiously Optimistic'

    Spokane Public Schools has seen improvement since committing to reducing suspensions, but the hardest part is yet to come
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
A Little Night Music

A Little Night Music @ Spokane Civic Theatre

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through March 5

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Cara Gardner

  • Pride or Prejudice?

    Jim West may have overcompensated for his closeted sexual identity by voting against gay rights legislation. But how are his fellow Republicans dealing with the news that the powerful conservative has admitted to sexual relationships with
    • Jul 8, 2005
  • Weapon of Mass Doubt

    Scott Ritter has been called "an honest man lost in Washington" by Forbes and "the most famous renegade Marine officer" by the New York Times. A former marine captain and the former chief weapons inspector for Unscom, the agency in charge
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Plaintiffs Speak

    For many, the current hearings in the Washington Supreme Court regarding marriage equality are interesting side notes in the ongoing battle over the right of homosexuals to marry legally. But for Marge Ballack and Diane Lantz, two plaintif
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

    Why we're filling the streets to protest Trump's inhumane, dangerous policies
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Obscene Gestures

    Spokane political party leaders hope to harness post-election passion into civil discourse. But so far, there's only been more strife
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Comment


do something


Readers also liked…

  • Extraordinary Ordination
  • Extraordinary Ordination

    Meet the first woman to be ordained as an Ecumenical Catholic priest in Spokane
    • Nov 19, 2015
  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation