10 years after his last feature film For Your Consideration, Christopher Guest is finally back with a new zany mockumentary, this time for Netflix. Packed with some of his regular cast members, Mascots follows the build-up to a contest where the "best" mascots battle it out.
This is a such an obviously funny concept that the jokes write themselves so it's not exactly a big risk for the filmmaker as Mascots is essentially Best In Show crossed with Waiting For Guffman. Guest even reprises his role from the latter as camp musical director Corky St. Clair in an amusing cameo. With the likes of Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr, Fred Willard and others, this is familiar territory for sure so don't expect too many big surprises. That said, it's hard to make a bad film when this many funny people are in it so Mascots is just as enjoyable as you'd expect with plenty of goofy lines and gags to keep you entertained throughout. Seeing all these larger-than-life characters take such a silly competition so seriously is very funny in itself but, like Waiting For Guffman, it's really all about the actual show.
You can tell that a lot of effort was put into making the mascot contest look as ridiculous as possible and you almost wish that the whole film had been the show rather than the set-up for it. You've got a plumber mascot dancing with a giant piece of poo, an incomprehensible modern armadillo dance, an ice-skating fist, a rabbi and a worm, two mascots genuinely fighting during a performance, it's all great stuff. Mascots feels more like a reminder of how much fun these mockumentaries can be rather than something completely new and ground-breaking. What it lacks in surprises and originality, the film makes up for in reliably funny performances and by making the most of its silly concept. Fans of Christopher Guest's movies will be in safe hands and should have a good time with this one, same goes for the uninitiated who will no doubt then want to check out the director's earlier stuff.
Nothing really wrong with Mascots except for its predictability, otherwise this is a funny little film with an excellent cast and a lot of clever jokes. Here's hoping Christopher Guest's next one tries something a bit more unexpected, though.
Worth a watch.