Film / Masterminds

Oswald 'Ozzy' Paxton (Vincent Kartheiser) is a Playful Hacker who is forced to take his stepsister Melissa (Katie Stewart) to her prep school Shady Glen (where he was kicked out after a prank) after being busted by his parents for downloading an illegal copy of the game Scream II (no relation to the film). Before leaving, Ozzy decides to pull one last prank...until he sees men armed with guns arriving on the scene.

Turns out Rafe Bentley (Patrick Stewart—yes, that Patrick Stewart), Shady Glen's new head of security, has hatched a plan to hold the children of Shady Glen as ransom to extort money from their wealthy parents. So now Ozzy has to use his hacker skills to save the day.

Not to be confused with the 2016 comedy film.

This film contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Bentley has a bunch of ATVs tricked out with rocket launchers waiting in the sewer tunnels as an escape route.
  • Affably Evil: Bentley
    Bentley: You know...I'm not a violent man but I really do think I'm going to have to kill someone here.
  • Air Vent Escape: Played with. Ozzy can fit in there and The Ferret is the only bad guy small enough to do the same. At the same time, however, the bad guys can hear him clanging around in there when he isn't being perfectly still, allowing one on the outside to stab at him periodically.
  • Bald of Evil: Bentley, again.
  • Badass Mustache: Bentley. Patrick Stewart is Law Enforcement!
  • Badass Teacher: Claire Maloney, the headmistress of Shady Glen.
  • Big "NO!": Bentley at the end, where he drives out of a sewage pipe and lands in sewage.
  • The Cracker: Ozzy is introduced as this at the beginning, downloading a game before it goes on the market to sell illegal copies.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: "Die Hard In A Boarding School" sums up the plot of the film quite well, lampshaded by Ozzy.
    Ozzy: I'm tellin' ya, we've got a Die Hard situation here.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: After the police fail spectacularly to breach the school perimeter and flee, Bentley tells his men to have some fun and destroy their empty vehicles. It only takes a few seconds of automatic gunfire to make them explode in impressive fireballs.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Bentley knows that Miles Lawrence, father of one of the students at Shady Glen and his former boss, is putting up at least a billion dollars in cash to buy a TV network. Bentley asks for 650 million, not the full billion, doubting that Miles would pay that much for the hostages even though one of them is his own daughter.
    Bentley: For a billion you would sacrifice the kids. I know you people.
  • Evil Brit: Bentley
  • Hollywood Hacking: Computer hacking consists of playing a literal computer game, consisting of hunting for a "valid entrance" in a 3-D animated dungeon (with hostile skeletons!), while the system itself proclaims full awareness of your activities and their illegality. It's a good enough sport to let you proceed without a fuss if you win.
  • I Have Your Wife: Bentley kidnaps Ozzy's sister near the end of the movie.
  • Large Ham: "UNITED! UNITED!"
  • The Mole: Rafe, head of security at the school. Also, Foster Delroy, the CFO of Ozzy's father's company who is in cahoots with the hostage-takers.
  • Playful Hacker: Ozzy
  • Police Are Useless: Bentley is smugly dismissive of the police, completely unconcerned when they first respond, as he is able to anticipate their every move.
    Bentley: I see the comedians are right on-time.
    • They even fire at Ozzy while he's climbing on the roof, mistaking him for one of the hostage-takers.
  • Unlikely Hero: Ozzy again.
  • Worthy Opponent: Bentley declares that Ozzy is the only decent challenge he's had, compared to the predictability of the police.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: In an exchange between Maloney and Ozzy.
    Maloney: So, what's your plan?
    Ozzy: With All Due Respect, Maloney, you don't want to know.