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"NAPOLEON DYNAMITE"
(2004) (Jon Heder, Jon Gries) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Minor None Moderate None Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Mild Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A high school nerd deals with the trials and tribulations of his life as he tries to help his friend win their class election.
PLOT:
Napoleon Dynamite (JON HEDER) is a classic high school nerd. With wild hair, perpetually half-closed eyes and a tendency to breathe only through his mouth, he lives in his own nerdy world. In reality, he resides with his Grandma (SANDY MARTIN) and unemployed, thirty-something brother Kip (AARON RUELL) who's also a homebody nerd.

At school, he's befriended Pedro (EFREN RAMIREZ), a Mexican nerd who's looking for a date for the high school dance. When snobby Summer (HAYLIE DUFF) turns him down, he gets portrait studio worker Deb (TINA MAJORINO) to go with him.

When Napoleon's grandma ends up in the hospital following an ATV accident, his uncle Rico (JON GRIES) shows up. A nerd stuck in a former era, he enlists Kip to help him sell Tupperware-like products. As Napoleon deals with them and the other daily trials and tribulations of his unique life, he also tries to help Pedro compete against Summer for the position of class president.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teenagers might be drawn to it, but younger kids most likely will not.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic elements and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JON HEDER plays a nerdy high school student who lives in his own world that constantly butts up against reality. He must deal with its constant irritants as well as his uncle's intrusion in his life.
  • JON GRIES plays Napoleon's uncle who's still stuck in the '80s and works as a day to door salesman that includes him trying to sell bust enhancer products to high school girls.
  • AARON RUELL plays Napoleon's unemployed and much older brother who still lives at home and is carrying on an Internet romance.
  • EFREN RAMIREZ plays a new student at the school who becomes Napoleon's friend and runs for class president.
  • TINA MAJORINO plays the local portrait studio girl who takes a liking to Napoleon but agrees to attend a dance with Pedro when he asks her instead.
  • HAYLIE DUFF plays the snobby high school student who runs against Pedro for class president.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of a handful of expletives (no "f" or "s" words), while various colorful phrases are uttered. A middle-aged man tries to sell a bust-enhancing product to some high school girls, and holds kitchen pots over a woman's chest to suggest enhanced breast size.

    Other bad attitudes are also present, including various students who physically abuse others at school (pushing them into lockers, putting them in headlocks, etc.). Characters struggle with and/or strike others in other ways (mostly played for laughs), while a farmer is nearly seen (but is heard) shooting a cow. Various forms of imitative behavior are also present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A woman may be holding a beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some students pick on and physically abuse Napoleon and some other smaller kids in school.
  • Napoleon lies about a photo from a photography studio being that of his girlfriend.
  • Some viewers might not like Napoleon telling Kip & Rico, "You guys are retarded."
  • Napoleon's date jilts him at a dance and leaves with her friend.
  • A guy tries to take a smaller/younger student's bike and briefly struggles with him over it until some guys drive up and the older/bigger student runs off.
  • Rico lies to Deb about Napoleon saying she needs to use a bust enhancer product.
  • Rico tries to sell a bust enhancer product to various teen girls and a woman.
  • During a class election speech against Pedro (who's Mexican), Summer sarcastically asks who wants to eat chimichangas (meaning that's what they'd have if he wins).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • During a staged martial arts commercial, we see a demo where a gun is knocked from a fake assailant's hand, while another bit shows a person with another in a headlock.
  • A farmer shoots a cow with a rifle (but does so as a bus passes by and blocks our view -- so all we see is the bus, and some school kids' horrified reactions, but we do hear the shot).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Freakin' (idiot)," "You sicko," "Idiot," "Dang," "Babes," "Jeez," "What the flip?" "You guys are retarded," "What the hell are you doing?" "Pissed," "Shut up," "Hooking up with chicks" (nonsexual) and "Piece of crap."
  • Kids may want to imitate the way Napoleon acts, talks, looks and/or carries himself.
  • Some scenes listed under "Violence" (not listed here) might also be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Napoleon throws an action figure toy from a moving school bus and lets it drag behind it on the road while attached to a string.
  • We see a student who has Napoleon in a headlock and slams him back into some lockers several times.
  • Pedro rides his bicycle over a small ramp that briefly and barely makes him airborne over a sidewalk. Napoleon then tries the same, but the platform breaks under his bike, somewhat injuring his groin area.
  • Napoleon and Kip slap at each other when the latter says he wants to be a cage fighter and Napoleon makes fun of him. Napoleon then gets in one last slap.
  • Napoleon pulls Kip (who's wearing inline skates) behind him down the road on his bike.
  • Napoleon places tater tots into the side pocket on his pants. He then pulls one out and eats it in class. When he won't give any to another student, that guy kicks Napoleon's pocket to squash the tots.
  • Acting like a quarterback, Rico throws a steak that hits Napoleon in the face as he rides up on his bike (his glasses are knocked off).
  • Kip drives over some Tupperware like container (trying to prove how strong it is, but the tire crushes it).
  • Napoleon drinks a raw egg drink on a farm where he works (but gags on it).
  • A relative or friend of Pedro's has a tattoo on his arm.
  • We see Pedro shaving off his hair with an electric clipper.
  • Napoleon does some pelvic thrusting while dancing by himself in front of his classmates in an impromptu skit.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 6 craps, 1 hell and 1 use of "God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a non-explicit, line drawing of a woman in a bikini top.
  • Rico gives two high school students fliers for a breast-enhancement product he's selling called "Bust Must." Later, he gives the same to Deb in something of a creepy fashion.
  • Rico tries to sell a bust enhancer product to a very muscular female bodybuilder. He then holds pots over her chest to symbolize what the product would do.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Toward the end of the film, Napoleon isn't happy to have his uncle around.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How "nerdy" people view themselves and how others view them.
  • Dealing with abuse at school.
  • Meeting people on the Internet.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a student who has Napoleon in a headlock and slams him back into some lockers several times.
  • Pedro rides his bicycle over a small ramp that briefly and barely makes him airborne over a sidewalk. Napoleon then tries the same, but the platform breaks under his bike, somewhat injuring his groin area.
  • Napoleon and Kip slap at each other when the latter says he wants to be a cage fighter and Napoleon makes fun of him. Napoleon then gets in one last slap.
  • During a staged martial arts commercial, we see a demo where a gun is knocked from a fake assailant's hand, while another bit shows a person with another in a headlock.
  • A martial arts instructor repeatedly whacks Kip during a class demo.
  • A farmer shoots a cow with a rifle (but does so as a bus passes by and blocks our view -- so all we see is the bus, and some school kids' horrified reactions, but hear the shot).
  • Napoleon places tater tots into the side pocket on his pants. He then pulls one out and eats it in class. When he won't give any to another student, that guy kicks Napoleon's pocket to squash the tots.
  • We see Napoleon's grandmother flying off an ATV as she goes over the top of a sand dune (we then hear that she's in the hospital).
  • Acting like a quarterback, Rico throws a steak that hits Napoleon in the face as he rides up on his bike (his glasses are knocked off).
  • A guy walks past Napoleon in the school hall and then suddenly slams him back into the lockers.
  • We see Napoleon with Kip in a headlock.
  • Napoleon gets shocked by a "time machine" that Rico bought (while holding part of it between his legs at his clothed crotch). We later see Rico walking gingerly and being sensitive over his own crotch (where he was apparently shocked earlier by the same device).
  • A student grabs a smaller/younger guy by the neck and repeatedly throttles him up and down.
  • A guy tries to take a smaller/younger student's bike and briefly struggles with him over it until some guys drive up and the older/bigger student runs off.
  • Napoleon throws what appears to be a grapefruit at Rico's van and then at him when he gets out. Rico then chases him down, tackles and struggles with him on the ground until Napoleon hits him in the chest and runs off (but then falls from a tall fence that he tries to cross).
  • We hear sounds of a guy beating up Rico (for trying to sell bust enhancer to his wife or girlfriend). We later see Rico with his arm in a sling.



  • Reviewed June 10, 2004 / Posted June 18, 2004

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