Scott Garfield/Netflix
Devan Coggan
October 06, 2016 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Mascots

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
89 minutes
release date
10/13/16
director
Christopher Guest
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B-

Mascots should be the perfect match. Christopher Guest is the godfather of mockumentaries (even though it’s a term he himself has disavowed), and the oddness of the sports mascot subculture makes them a perfect target for the director of Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. And these mascots sure are weird: Guest’s feverishly passionate freaks range from a modern-dance-loving armadillo (Parker Posey) to a resident bad-boy character known as the Fist (Chris O’Dowd). Together, they’re gathered in Anaheim, California for the annual World Mascot Association Championships, jockeying to win the coveted “Gold Fluffy.”

If you’re a Guest devotee, you’ll be in the stands cheering; otherwise, Mascots feels like a bit of a retread. Frequent Guest players like Jane Lynch, Bob Balaban, and Fred Willard all pop up (although there are a few new standouts, like Zach Woods), and the competition aspect feels straight out of Best in Show. But unlike their dog-show counterparts, most of the mascots never progress beyond straight caricature. The deadpan jokes still land, and the final competition is a delightfully bizarre display of insane choreography. Unlike Guest’s best, sadly, Mascots is a bit empty inside — all costume, no soul. B–

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