The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Movie not dynamite

    The underground film “Napoleon Dynamite” stars Jon Heder as a lonely and eccentric high school student growing up in 1980s Idaho.

    Heder’s character, Napoleon, falls into the care of his unemployed older brother Kip (Aaron Ruell) and his conniving uncle Rico (Jon Gries) when his grandmother is hospitalized.

    Napoleon Dynamite
    Time: 6 and 8:30 p.m.
    Date: Tonight through Sunday
    Place: Davies Theatre, Davies Center
    Cost: $2 for International Film Society and faculty and staff, $1 for students

    Kip is determined to meet the love of his life in online chat rooms while selling kitchenware door-to-door for one of Rico’s money-making schemes. Prior to moving in with Napoleon and Kip, Rico lived in a van, trying to recapture his glory days.

    Napoleon befriends Pedro (Efren Ramirez), a new student, and Deb (Tina Majorino), a shy girl struggling to earn money for college.

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    Together, the odd trio works on Pedro’s campaign for student body president against the popular and perky blonde Summer (Haylie Duff).

    The three of them learn the true value of friendship, as they must work together to avert crises at the school dance and at the election assembly.

    Throughout all this, Napoleon attempts to distance himself from his embarrassing relatives.

    The movie is destined to become a new cult classic, leaving many critics impressed with its originality; but it does have its drawbacks.

    While it features a unique breed of protagonist in the moon-boot- wearing and chronically monotone Napoleon, the film relies on a host of stereotypical supporting characters for much of its humor.

    Random absurdity a la Monty Python has its place. The film’s striving for such randomness unfortunately leaves the audience searching for some semblance of a plot.

    “Napoleon” does have a few funny moments that attempt to salvage the film.

    Napoleon nearly hurts himself while playing tetherball solo, and Kip practically electrocutes Napoleon when the two try out Rico’s time machine.

    Later on, Napoleon takes up dancing and busts a move for Pedro’s campaign at an election week assembly.

    However, these humorous flashes can’t make up for the plot, if one can call it that.

    I only can give this movie a cautionary recommendation to a select audience.

    “Napoleon Dynamite” is for adventurous movie-goers who enjoy films outside the mainstream and who don’t mind seriously understated humor.

    Those who enjoy Hollywood’s elaborate plots, high drama or side-splitting laughs should watch something else.

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