Danny the Donkey, my mascot alter ego, was the first one to have an anatomically correct costume! That lasted all of one game!
Director : Christopher Guest
Cast : Parker Posey, Chris O’Dowd, Jane Lynch, Zach Woods, Ed Begley Jr, Don Lake, Tom Bennett and Christopher Moynihan
For the first time since October I’m actually doing a proper review. After an unexpected two month gap I returned on Christmas Day with my breakdown of 2017, but this is the first proper review and it is arguably a movie that is slightly better known than my usual content on here.
The reason that I am reviewing this is that a film I’ve always enjoyed is the mockumetenary “Best in Show” and this looked very similar (at the time I didn’t know it was by the same director). After watching it I saw how few votes it had on IMDB and thought “why not”.
It’s coming around to that time of year where the best mascots around the world will compete against each other for the coveted “Golden Fluffy” award, given by the World Mascot Association. For some it is the fulfillment of a life goal, others it is a family heritage, and for another it is simply because he was convinced by a man making fun of his dwarfism.
When the competition starts there is a friendly rivalry between most competitors, but the distinct personalities of the people when inside and out of their costumes starts to cause conflicts, and may even result in the disqualification for some.
As good as “Best In Show”
Put simply, no. It is very similar in style, but the comedic chops of the cast in this was are noticably lower than those that were in the previous movie, and there isn’t as much depth to the characters portrayed by the returning cast members (Parker Posey, Jane Lynch and Jennifer Coolidge). In some ways it definitely feels like this was trying too hard to be funny and offbeat, whereas “Best in Show” felt more genuine and real.
“Best in Show” had a seeming spontaneity that “Mascots” lacks, and there is never an ultimate pay off for what you’ve watching. I never felt invested in the characters and found that some of the highlighted mascot performances went on far beyond their welcome, and almost became tedious. For film that falls just shy of a 90 minute run time, it somehow still manages to have a lot of filler in there.
There are a lot of scenes which just don’t pay off, such as when Fred Willard’s Greg is asking a lot of inappropriate questions to a man with dwarfism and I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it stops being funny after a while, mainly because it didn’t feel funny at any point. It felt like a conversation that David Brent would have, but without actually seeming funny or awkwardly amusing at any point. The pay off afterwards isn’t even worth the effort that they have spent to make what is a remarkably unfunny scene, and it amazes me that they convinced a man with dwarfism to actually participate in what is quite an offensive scene.
That is not to say that there aren’t some unique and funny moments, and there is something heartwarming about the passion that the characters show for something that isn’t well known. It is definitely a watchable film, but as soon as you start thinking about it is soon loses any charm that you might have thought it had.
“Mascots” tries too hard to try and be unique that it forgets to actually be funny. I watched it without any issues and never really wanted to turn it off, but it is definitely not a film that I would like to watch again at any point.
With misplaced comedy, numerous dull and predictable characters, this is nothing like Guest’s previous works and I really can’t think of anything to justify recommending it.
If you’ve got 90 minutes spare then I would recommend finding something else to fill it with.