FILM REVIEW: Mascots – “A Dark Horse of a Comedy”


Mascots, the latest in Netflix original feature films to be released, provides an excellent recipe of jolliness, awkwardness and fun in fairly equal measures. Christine Wada must have had a great time designing the costumes of these wacky characters and it pays off in spades.

Mascots follows the journey of several mascots competing in the 8th Annual World Mascot Association Awards, including a stool-wrestling plumber, an interpretive-dancing roadkill and a humble hedgehog from Croydon. The cast is a regular ‘Who’s who’ of ‘Oh I’ve seen him in something else, haven’t I Steve?’s and ‘wasn’t she the one from that thing we like, Karen?’s.

Standout performances from Tom Bennett (Phoneshop, David Brent: Life on the Road) and Sarah Baker (The Campaign, Louie) give the entire collaboration a much needed boost in the right direction. Watching the film, I couldn’t decide whether it was the writing or the performances that made quite an innocuous concept into a dark horse of a comedy so I decided it must be both. Bennett was especially loveable as Owen Golly, Jr. (pronounced ‘Jolly as in gay’) and he was accompanied by Kerry Godliman (Derek, Our Girl) who played supportive spouse.

Christopher Guest and his co-writer Jim Piddock (Tooth Fairy. Yes, the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson classic, 2010’s Tooth Fairy) manage to invoke the essence of Spinal Tap and the cast is full of actors with a great level of experience in documentary style comedies. Props must go to the casting team, led by David Rubin, for creating a great ensemble.

The plot is quite straightforward, which actually came as a pleasant surprise at a time where it feels as though every movie is stretched over two or two and a half hours with false jeopardies and relationship troubles. You can get through Mascots in just shy of ninety minutes which, due to the Netflix platform, doesn’t leave you feeling short changed. Mascots is a great film if you want to sit back and let a comedy happen to you, without assuming you’re an idiot who needs every joke spoonfed to you. Think Dodgeball + charm – Hollywood.

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