My Napoleon Dynamite Review
Napoleon Dynamite is the offbeat, bizarre comedy made by a group of Brigham Young grads in 2004.   It was an independent film at first, but it became a huge hit at the Sundance Film Festival, and ultimately in national theatres.

The movie is set in rural Idaho, somewhere around our time (no earlier than the release of the song "Larger than Life" by the Backstreet Boys), but the movie feels like it could be set anytime within the 80's or 90's based on clothing and personal style of some of the characters.   I don't know what people wear in Idaho, but those boots are so 80's.  The timeframe of the film really doesn't matter however, because as soon as the movie begins the main character, Napoleon Dynamite goes on a series of absurd, surreal adventures. 

Every humorous aspect from the movie is disconnected from any meaning.  Even the name Napoleon Dynamite (seemingly borrowed from one of Elvis Costello's albums) plays no significant role in the movie.  It is this absurdity in much of the events in Napoleon Dynamite that drives the humor.  There isn't a wrinkle in the humor, and if you watch it expecting cleverness and wit, you won't enjoy it.  Any notable moment from the movie, from to the stereotypical fob Mexican, to Napoleon's brother's interracial relationship is devoid of any zing.  Instead the movie is about the glossed over reality of Napoleon's life and his apathetic approach to reality.  This is where the acting of Jon Heder and some of the other characters really pulls the film through.

Napoleon Dynamite is one of the few movies not made for little kids that has a rating of PG.  That's pretty impressive in and of itself these days, for a movie to make it without any sexual or violent content.  Napoleon Dynamite doesn't have any of the slapstick sexual humor found in other adolescent comedies.  It's a hard movie to explain and if you want to see some really good reviews both by people who like the movie and those who don't, visit the Napoleon Dynamite page at

Random Tidbits

Napoleon's brother kip wears braces in the movie.  I only noticed that while looking through photos on the official website.

The Rex Kwan Do guy is Diedrich Bader, the actor who plays Oswald on The Drew Carey Show.  I thought I recognized his voice, but it was tough to recognize him with the mustache.

Movies like it: Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, Roadtrip.

You can find the trailer at

You can rent Napoleon Dynamite with your Blockbuster Online membership.


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