Christopher Guest introduces us to the quirky world of professional mascot performances. Guest’s movies have always shown a weird subculture through the genre of mockumentary. “Mascots” fits in well with his other films like “A Mighty Wind” and “Waiting for Guffman,” as it shows a group of people who are just bizarre enough to be realistic but not over-the-top.
If you are familiar with Guest’s other movies they, typically have a group of odd people that all belong to a sub-culture and then gather later at some sort of convention or competition. In this instance, it as mascot performers from all over the globe at a competition to win a “fuzzy.” Most of Guest’s usual actors are present, with some notable additions and sorely missed exceptions. Everyone keeps their performances on the edge of bizarre, but just enough to be realistic.
Guest’s most notable mockumentary is “This is Spinal Tap,” which I find to be gut-busting with all sorts of fun jokes and other things. However, starting with “Guffman,” his movies tend to be more low-key and not necessarily a laugh riot. “Mascots” is definitely not one to watch if you are looking roll on the ground in laughter, but you can get a kick out of the characters and the circumstances they find themselves in.
The funniest sequence of the movie is when the competition takes place. It is fun to watch all of the over-the-top mascot routines and the mascots themselves are creative. Yes, there is a mascot that is just a Rabbi, it is as weird as it sounds. In the end, you find yourself rooting for the characters, hoping they do well in the competition. Especially the character of Owen Golly Jr., whose story is the heart of the movie. Other stand out characters are the bickering couple, who have a co-mascot act but should honestly just divorce.
If you love David Guest mockumentaries, this movie should be put on the watch list. However, it does not offer anything new to the genre like “Spinal Tap” did. If you have never seen any of Guest’s other movies, I would bypass “Mascots” and watch “Best in Show,” as this one is not as funny and not a good starting point.