Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Movie Review: "Mascots" (2016)

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Director: Christopher Guest
Year: 2016
Rating: TV-MA
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Mascots from around the world gather to compete in the world mascot championship for the Golden Fluffy Award.

"Mascots" is a mockumentary directed by Christoper Guest, who has made a career out of making off-the-wall, wonderful films such as this. His other movies include the likes of "Waiting for Guffman," "Best in Show," and "A Mighty Wind." He usually takes on a specific, not usually explored subculture in each film, poking fun at it and the aspects the general public may deem "weird." First, Guest tackled community theater, then came dog shows, then folk singers, and now, it's mascots. The film stars Zach Woods, Sarah Baker, Tom Bennett, Parker Posey, Susan Yeagley, Chris O'Dowd, and Christopher Moynahan as the competing mascots, as well as Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins, Ed Begley Jr., and Jane Lynch as show runners of and judges at the competition. Much like the other films, this one is portrayed through a series of interviews with the different characters, each with their own certain oddball characteristics and personal foibles.

The thing that makes Christopher Guest's mockumentaries so great is the nugget of truth found deep within the silly nature of its characters and the absurdity of what they are doing. We understand the eccentricities of people who do community theater in hopes of a big break, or the way people interact with their dogs before a big championship show. In "Mascots," however, the entire film seems to scoff at the whole notion of mascots in general. It doesn't feel quite as authentic as some of Guest's past works. There is still a ton of witty humor and a lot of great dialogue, but by far, the best part of the movie comes at the finale as all of the mascots perform at the competition and bring their own weird quirky, odd touches to their routines. Some of these routines include a plumber and a toilet, a solo interpretive dance sequence, and a choreographed couples number. This final segment is fantastic. There are a lot of laughs at the insanity of these routines and it is a very fun way to finish the film.

We wish the whole of "Mascots" had been as much fun as the epic final portion. We really think Guest could have done a lot more with this subject. While this might not be his best film, if it's his worst, he doesn't have a whole lot to worry about because it's still a riot.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 51%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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