Mascots (2016)

mascots movie poster netflix
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Fun cast and concept

Lackluster story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Mascots

Studio:  Netflix

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  September 10, 2016 (Toronto International Film Festival)/October 13, 2016

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

mascots jack the plumber poop dance

Talk to the poop, Jack the Plumber!

It is the World Mascot Association Championship in Anaheim.  The Golden Fluffy Award is a big honor for mascots and there can only be one winner.  The competition is tough with entries like Olly the Octopus and Tammy Turtle (Zach Woods and Sarah Baker), Sid the Hedgehog (Tom Bennett), Alvin the Armadillo (Parker Posey), the Fist (Chris O’Dowd), and Jack the Plumber (Christopher Moynihan) among others.  The judges (Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., and Don Lake) have a tough decision…who will take home the prize?

Written and directed by Christopher Guest (with additional writing by Jim Piddock), Mascots is a mockumentary comedy.  The movie was originally released at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released on Netflix on October 13, 2016.

mascots parker posey dance

No matter what, Parker Posey just makes me laugh…

I love Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, and I like A Mighty WindFor Your Consideration was awful.  With a decline in his product, I was both excited and scared to watch Mascots when I learned it was going to be released on Netflix.  Netflix is a perfect outlet for Christopher Guest…and while it was better than For Your Consideration (which wasn’t in the mockumentary format),  Mascots still didn’t live up to Guest’s other works.

The story is a blending of both Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman.  The performance aspect of the show brings in Guffman’s style and the contestants and competition is reminiscent of Best in Show.  Unfortunately, the storyline and characters are too spread out and don’t come together enough.  You can see where stories are going easily and there isn’t much joy in their conclusions since you could predict them…Guest really helped invent the format beginning with This Is Spinal Tap, but now the format needs to be shaken up a little.

Like most of Guest’s work, Guest brings back a lot of his own actors for the new film.  It is interesting to see him start to “modernize” his cast by bringing in new players that seem to fill in for his classic actors (the perfect example is Woods who is a ringer in both looks and acting for Michael Hitchcock who also appears in the film).  It is fun but it also leads to some of the predictability.  The saddest appearance had to be Christopher Guest himself recreating his Corky St. Clair character from Guffman…he just wasn’t up to the level of Guffman (he felt shoehorned into the plot), and it would have helped in Posey’s character was her Guffman character.

mascots the fist middle finger

Well, he’s called “The Fist” for a reason

The documentary style works well with Mascots’ storyline.  The movie benefits from the fact that there is a performance at the end of the film.  Like the cast however, there are too many performances.  As a viewer, you’ve earned the right to see the performances of the characters, but it takes almost too long to play out.  It does build a nice Muppet Show behind the scenes in front of the audience aspects, but one less performer might have sped up some of the pacing.

Mascots is a rather short film and it moves quickly.  Fans of shows like The Office and Christopher Guest will probably like it, but not as much as their favorite shows.  What hurts the most is that Mascots has potential.  Guest maybe should have experimented with the short series format of something like Netflix or Amazon and done four or five thirty minute episodes with one or two final episodes featuring the cast coming together and the competition.  Mascots will not leave you angry, but it also won’t leave you impressed.

Related Links:

Waiting for Guffman (1997)

Best in Show (2000)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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