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Napoleon Dynamite

Loser Comedy

One of the most unique, funny and endearing movies this year, if not to date, has got to be director/writer Jared Hess's Napoleon Dynamite. The comedy follows the 'adventures' of a total dork that, literally, lives in his own private Idaho; this movie presents you with a poster child for the new millennium of misunderstood geek, much like Anthony Michael Hall's roles during the eighties' teen flick explosion.

Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder almost as a younger Will Ferrell) is deep into the awkward stage of adolescence. His perpetually gaping mouth, half-closed eyes squinting in annoyance and moon boots equal a powerful combination. His belief in his own skills is staggering- he earnestly believes he is a ninja who can take on the world- and his quirky views on life are part of the comical relief. Indeed, his whole family lives in a reality all of their own in a rural town in lovely Idaho. His gangly and deathly pale 31-year old brother Kip (Aaron Ruell) is addicted to chatting with his 'online girlfriend' and entertains fantasies of being a serious ass-kicker.

When his grandmother gets into an accident, his Uncle Rico (Jon Gries), a man who only digests steak and who can't seem to get himself out of the eighties, comes to stay and watch over them. After launching a business of his own, he proceeds to firmly establish Napoleon's place in high school loserdom.

Luckily, Pedro (Efren Ramirez sporting a moustache) his best, and practically only, friend-by-default besides Deb (Tina Majorino), an ambitious young woman who dresses like she's ten and living in 1983, are there to give him 'sound' advice when the going gets tough. In turn, Napoleon is there to lend a hand when Pedro decides to run for student body president against the most popular girl at school.

Napoleon Dynamite is hilarious from beginning to end. Straight from the start when it sports some of the most creative movie credits ever seen, to the ending that could match the loser-makes-good conclusion of High Fidelity. Napoleon is ready to conquer the world one-movie theater at a time. Don't be surprised when his oft-used catch phrases "Gross!" and "Heck yes!" come into vogue among the MTV set.

Stars: 5 out of 5