Mascots: A Netflix Original Film


Jack Brink

Rating: NR

Score: 5/10

Netflix’s newest original movie was released on Oct. 13, 2015, and follows the story of several professional mascots and their bids to win the annul Fluffies competition, the world’s biggest competition for “mascotery”. It’s both as pathetic and amazing as it sounds.

The mascots themselves are quite colorful a cast of characters, including Mike and Mindy Murray (Zach Woods and Sarah Baker), whose squid and turtle duo act (and their marriage) is often ruined by their constant bickering, Tommy Zucarello (Chris O’Dowd) whose drunk, violent, and crude ways have had him banned from several mascot events in the world, Owen Golly Jr. (Tom Bennet) who is a third generation mascot trying to live up to and follow in his father’s footsteps, Phil Mayhew (Christopher Moynihan) who is hoping winning the Fluffies will win him the former flame he never even had (yes, really), and sisters Cindi and Laci Babineaux (Parker Posey and Susan Yeagley) who believe mascotery is a truly deep, beautiful art form.

Every one of these characters is horribly pathetic, and the movie uses that to its full comedic advantage, with everyone exaggerating how important the Fluffies is to them. It’s hilarious how heated things get, with some of the mascots trying to cheat and get others banned through anonymous tips about racist college sports team logos, and some mascots even bringing a professional coach down with them for the tournament.

There’s no voice of reason in this movie, no one who tells them how ridiculous their lives are and how pointless this competition is. That turns out to be a great thing, as it’s a hundred times funnier watching the characters carry on in their ignorance, truly believing that this competition being broadcasted on one station in a local county is going to change their lives forever. Their investment makes you invested, and makes you care about who wins the competition.

There is a downside to them carrying on in their ignorance however, as mostly all of the characters (with the exception of Owen) barely get any sort of character development, with them carrying on about how important mascotery is, even after the competition. None of them learn from the mistakes they’ve made along the way, and thus repeat those mistakes, such as Mike’s adulterous ways and Phil’s belief that the mascotting is the only thing that makes his life standout. This makes following their journeys a little bit pointless, even if it is pretty funny.

The movie also leaves a lot of ideas half-baked, such as Mike’s constant adultery, furries overrunning the tournament (gross), and the rivalry between judges Gabby Monkhouse (Jane Lynch) and A.J. Blumquist (Ed Begley Jr.). These elements all have funny scenes, and add an extra layer to the story, but none of them are fully developed and continued, leaving us without a satisfying conclusion for many of our side stories.

Christopher Guest movies often feature a lot of improvisation, which really helps with the Mockumentary vibe and provides for more natural comedy, but that also means there will be a good amount of jokes that fall flat, and some that are just plain weird. The amount of good jokes outweighs the bad however, which is very fortunate.

Mascots will provide you with a lot of laughs, and the actual mascotting acts in the tournament are very entertaining and engaging. However, do not go into this movie expecting a lot of character development and story, because you won’t be cheering for that.