There are classic comedies and then there are the ridiculous comedies that are so outrageous you sometimes feel uncomfortable. Masterminds is the latter. Here’s the thing — it’s not the BEST movie you’re ever going to see, but it’s not supposed to be. It works because they crammed a solid array of actors and SNL rockstars into it, namely:
- Zach Galifianakis
- Kristen Wiig
- Owen Wilson
- Jason Sudekis
- Kate McKinnon
- Leslie Jones
Zach Galifianakis plays David Ghantt, a guard at Loomis Fargo armored car company in North Carolina. David lives a horrifyingly boring life with his soon-to-be wife, Jandice (Kate McKinnon). Jandice is legitimately scary, which makes sense because she’s played by Kate McKinnon and everything she does on SNL terrifies me. Jandice isn’t all bad, though. Her best quality is that she takes fantastic engagement photos.
David’s only source of excitement is his attractive coworker Kelly (Kristen Wiig). When Kelly gets fired from Loomis Fargo, David is devastated. That is, until one day she calls him and asks him to meet her for lunch. David is surprised to learn that Kelly’s friend Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson) wants to make him a proposition. Kelly and Steve want David to help them rob Loomis Fargo. Blinded by his love for Kelly and desperate for money, David agrees, and the plan is set in motion.
The most insane thing about this movie is that it’s based on a true story. In 1997, the real David Ghantt actually did rob Loomis Fargo. At the time, it was the second largest cash heist in U.S. history. Too bad everyone was an idiot.
If you read the story of how it all went down, Masterminds stuck pretty close to the real happenings. The writers certainly took some creative (and comedic) liberties, but these people were such characters in real life that they practically wrote the script themselves. For example, Steve Chambers warned all the participants not to draw attention to themselves by spending the money, but once he got his cut, he and his family moved into a huge mansion and furnished it with Elvis paintings, cigar store Indians, and many other disturbing items.
David Ghantt was betrayed by Chambers, and when Chambers realized David had become a liability, he sent a hitman (Jason Sudekis) to Mexico to kill him. The problem was, once he got there, the hitman couldn’t bring himself to kill Ghantt. Instead, he ended up befriending him and the two enjoyed some time together on the beaches of Mexico.
You can’t make this shit up.
Watch the movie to see just how outrageous these “masterminds” really were.