When a film tries hard to hide its arrival in the theatres under an ignominious cloud you get the general lay of the land (so-to-speak). ‘Masterminds’ loosely based on the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery in Charlotte, North Carolina, might have been an entertaining watch if only it had scored its marks on the comedy scale. Even with the luminous comedic talent within its fold, this film doesn’t even manage to get anywhere close to funny. The satirical thrusts are blindsided by a lack of follow through and the distaste is stronger because of its sneaky ridiculing of the poor – so what you get is half-baked and even less appealing.
Armored car driver David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis), and former co-worker Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig) along with her friend, Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson), steal $17M from the vault where it’s temporarily stored. David is forced to flee to Mexico while Kelly and Steve continue living their lives as normal. In order to sever any traceable ties to David, co-conspirator Steve, hires a hitman (Jason Sudeikis) to eliminate that possibility. But the team’s ineptitude shows up pretty quick on the FBI radar and the case is a bust without much fanfare. The theft itself appears to be a side show with the sarcasm gunning for overflow but failing to hit the right tone or affect. Hess’ treatment of the poor borders on cruelty and as a result, the spirit of the telling is not quite what it might have started out to be. The distaste thereof is long lasting.
The A-list stars in this movie make the project appear ambitious but Jared and his scripting team don’t make it happen in that way. The execution is pretty much sloppy and charmless. Kristen Wiig appears to be the only one who makes her presence matter here. The rest of the comedic ensemble just appear to be in for the loot.