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MacGruber Review

Fully criticizing a movie that revels in its own inherent idiocy is a somewhat insincere path to take. The promotional material for this Saturday Night Live sketch adaptation never attempts to deceive the potential audience with its intentions; you will get exactly what you expect. The conundrum with getting what you expect is you rarely get more than what you expect. MacGruber is a very funny film when it’s actually funny. The jokes, site gags and overabundance of '80s action flick nods come at such a rapid fire pace that for every joke that miscarries, a rebuttal of laughs is not far behind. Accumulate that trend over a 90-minute running time however and the stretches of dead air start to become grating and by the end are fully exhausting. MacGruber once again proves why short sketches often work better as such and not as feature films. For its issues, little fault can be found in the cast. From the leads to the supporting players, everyone throws themselves into the material headlong (material that fails them all too often). The titular MacGruber is portrayed by “SNL” veteran Will Forte, Kristen Wiig (who seems to be in every other comedy of late) gets the female lead and adding what little gravitas can be found in a poop-joke-per-minute spoof are Ryan Philippe and Val Kilmer. Wiig continually overshadows her male co-stars with delightful deadpan and Val Kilmer as Dieter Von Cunth (yes, Von Cunth) hams it up, chews scenery and everything in between as the central villain.

macgruberpicNot surprisingly, the main inspiration for this parody is born from the hugely popular television series MacGyver, with Will Forte’s character improvising his way out of more than one slippery situation. The plot consists of well-worn action movie tropes, with MacGruber called back into action to face his nemesis (Kilmer) and stop him from setting off a nuclear bomb. He assembles the requisite team of experts (Wiig and Philippe) and hilarity (sometimes) ensues. If you can make it past the ample potty humour, suspension of all disbelief is a necessity. The film is so utterly preposterous, from accepting the central character as elite in any capacity, to all of the cartoonish action and stunts, even the most child-minded may have difficulty keeping their eyes from rolling.

MacGruber is best enjoyed as background noise accompanied with the copious consumption of alcohol and even having seen the film clear-minded, I would be hard-pressed to reminisce but a handful of jokes; disposable filmmaking at its most accomplished. As far as Saturday Night Live adaptations are concerned, MacGruber lies squarely within no-mans-land, so to speak. It is far from the unwatchable atrocity that was A Night at the Roxbury but fares considerably more poorly when held up to a film like Wayne’s World. The burning question for passionate “SNL” fans will be if this revival of the brand (the last was The Ladies Man back in 2000) is enough of a success to warrant the adaptation of other popular skits. Sadly, after this attempt, the future looks MacGrey. Rating: 5/10 MacGruber Directed by Jorma Taccone Written by Will Forte, John Solomon Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Val Kilmer, Ryan Phillipe  Other Player Affinity Reviews Dinah Thought: "MacGruber marks the eleventh attempt of Saturday Night Live to turn one of its recurring sketch comedies into a feature length film. Since the most successful efforts were Blues Brothers in 1980 and Wayne’s World in 1992, SNL was certainly due for a hit. MacGruber was right on target. Although the satire of hit TV show MacGyver looked ridiculous and stupid (it is), it had a certain charm that suggested it would be funny and endearing (it is). A car could fit into the plot holes and editing mistakes- but that is part of the appeal, along with gratuitous butt shots and unattractive sex scenes. Rating: 7/10   Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.0/10 


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