Tim Skousen, the first assistant director on Napoleon Dynamite, serves as the director and writer on The Sasquatch Gang. This is clearly a copy of Napoleon Dynamite, but it is stronger and funnier in its humor. The character Napoleon Dynamite was slow, incompetent, not funny, trying to hard, and hard to like for most of the film. The lead character here is an adolescent, following in his footsteps, but seems to be more aware of his surroundings and can actually be called a "worthy hero." With Napoleon, he just wandered around aimlessly on screen for almost two hours stumbling from next plot point to next.
The plot: The story is sort of an anthology showing what a certain group of characters do, then showing what another group of characters were doing while the first were doing it. The stories intervene with each other, and I wasn't expecting this type of film to do that. It works in its favor big time. Geeky Gavin (Sumpter) and his friends Hobie (Palmer) and Maynard (Pinkston) enjoy fighting in their front yard with Styrofoam swords covered in colored tape. One day, Gavin and his buddies go into the woods and find feces and footprints of what they believe is from the Sasquatch.
Gavin continues to visit Sophie (Land) an insecure adolescent who works at the local video store. She is so insecure that she has her dentist uncle wire her mouth shut so she doesn't eat as much. Meanwhile, the two rednecks living next door (Kern and Long) are kept busy all day, and we see their day's work after we see our protagonist's work.
The Gavin character resembles a younger John Heder, the main character in Napoleon Dynamite. The Sophie character resembles Tina Majorino, the love interest in Napoleon Dynamite as well. It isn't hard to note a pattern forming with the characters, and it isn't hard to piece together this is a blatant knockoff of the film. Even Jon Heder makes a cameo appearance. If that isn't the "hey, look at me, I'm just like that guy!" moment I don't know what is.
I'd still go back and watch this before Napoleon because I found these characters so much more likable than the characters in that film. They were more fun to follow and learn about. Their main character doesn't drag his feet thru the storyline.
This isn't by any means a hilarious film, with numerous laughs, and a script to die for. It's a comedy. A decent one. There's parts that I found entertaining, like the scenes with Joey Kern and Justin Long, and parts that disinterested me, like the buildup between the relationship of the teenagers. I felt the film could've been smarter, and not focus on something like that. Still, The Sasquatch Gang manages to be better than the film it is a copy of. I can't say that happens to often in the industry.
Starring: Jeremy Sumpter, Justin Long, Joey Kern, Addie Land, Hubbel Palmer, Rob Pinkston. Directed by: Tim Skousen.
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