So Bad, It’s Good: Napoleon Dynamite

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This blog is part of the Second So Bad It’s Good Blogathon, hosted by Taking Up Room.  The idea of this event is to write about a movie that is just SO bad, it’s actually good!

You can see the other entries here:

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/103513267/posts/42964

Intro

I have many movies that I absolutely love that many would consider “bad”.  They are movies that I can sit and watch over and over, and still find great enjoyment from watching them.  I probably could have picked any one of them to write about for this blogathon, but instead, I chose Napoleon Dynamite.

I must be honest with you, I wasn’t even aware of this film until it was out on video.  I am not really even sure what made me pick up the case to see what it was about.  Maybe it was the school lockers in the picture?  Maybe it was the picture of the weird looking dude on the cover?  Maybe it was because the cover said, “You’ll laugh till it hurts”.

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No matter what the reason, I decided to rent it.  What happened next has NEVER happened before in my entire life.  When you see a bad movie, you usually say, “Well, that sucked!” and that’s the end of it.  As I sat to watch this film for the first time, I was expecting a full blown comedy.  I watched this entire movie – in silence.  When it was all over, I turned to my then wife and said, “Did I miss something?  What the hell did we just watch!?”

But that’s NOT where the story ends!  For the first time in my life, I immediately started the movie over from the beginning and watched it again!  It was THAT bad!!  The second time through, I found myself chuckling out loud at the absurdity of the whole movie, and the characters in it!  Because it was a new release, the rental was for 24 hours.  Dear reader, this movie was SO bad, I watched it AGAIN the next day before I took it back to the store!  You know what?  I found it funnier the third time!

Any time I recommend this film to anyone, I tell them, “Watch it once, and then watch it again.  Trust me!”

The movie

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It is hard for me to even begin to describe this movie.  I am not sure I even can.  Yes, there is a plot.  There are sub plots.  The movie is almost a series of vignettes strung together in a way that sort of makes a story.  Yeah, that is probably a terrible description, but that’s really all I can come up with.

Napoleon Dynamite (played by Jon Heder) is … unique.  He’s different.  He is a loner and he’s kind of happy that way.  He is a bullying victim.  A day at school is complete misery for him.  He is constantly picked on and made fun of.

Napoleon has two friends, Pedro and Deb, who fit right in with him.  They all seem to speak in short, simple sentences.  They all seem to be very socially awkward.  This does not stop Pedro from running for class president, though.

Napoleon lives with his grandmother and his brother, Kip.  Kip is also a nerd and spends almost all of his time in chat rooms talking with girls.  When their grandma is injured in a Dune Buggy accident (let that sink in for a minute!), we are introduced to their baby sitter – their Uncle.

Uncle Rico is a sleazy dude who drives around in an orange and brown Dodge van selling breast enhancement potions and Tupperware-like storage containers.  Poor Rico is fixated on 1982.  He was on the football team and they “should have won state!”  He constantly talks of how things should have been different.  He even bought a “time machine” on the internet to try to go back in time!

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The more I write, the more I keep scratching my head and wondering, “Just what was this whole movie about, anyway!?”  There are just so many scenes in the movie that leave you wondering “why is this in the movie?” “What was THAT all about?”  “Why did he do that?”

Those “what the hell” moments, actually end up being the ones you remember the most!  Many of them are some of my favorite scenes!

Some examples:

Napoleon feeding Tina, the llama

tina

When Napoleon throws a wrestling figure out the school bus window

wrestler

Uncle Rico nailing Napoleon with a steak

steak throw

The entire dance scene on stage

dance scene

The bully who asks for some of Napoleon’s tator tots (in his pants pocket!), only to be told “no”….so he smashes them…

tots

The entire Rex Kwon Do scene featuring Diedrich Bader of the Drew Carey Show

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Tether Ball, Summer’s cake, the bike that does “sweet jumps”, Ligers, La Fawnduh, I could go on and on to explain why this BAD movie is SO good.

I probably lose a few IQ points after each viewing, and you will too!  It is one of those guilty pleasure films for me that I will often quote to friends.  You will too!  But only if you watch it a second or third time!

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Thanks to my friends at Taking Up Room for allowing me to participate in this fun blogathon…..and for giving me another reason to watch this idiotic movie!

 

 

12 thoughts on “So Bad, It’s Good: Napoleon Dynamite

  1. A very well written review, but I feel confused.

    you are the first person I’ve encountered who called Napoleon Dynamite a bad movie. at the time of its release, I was surrounded by people and countless newspaper and magazine articles counting it as an amazing film

    I watched it and hated it. However, I love gentlemen broncos. So, maybe I should go back and give Napoleon Dynamite one more chance

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. You are right, there were many people praising the film when it came out. It was very well received at the Sundance Film Festival.

      Personally, I don’t consider it a bad movie. I actually like it a lot. It makes me laugh with each viewing. I thought of this movie for the “bad” blogathon simply because so many people I knew talked about how bad it was. To each of them, I always told them they needed to watch it a second time, like I did. Granted, not everyone is going to agree with me.

      If you go back and see it again, I’d be interested in your thoughts! Thanks for reading and for following. All the best to you!

      Like

  2. It took me two times watching this also. I love the time machine part… the guy is so passionate about it. The movie is so low keyed…much of the humor I missed the first time watching.

    Liked by 1 person

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