MacGruber (2010) dir. Jorma Taccone
Starring: Will Forte, Ryan Philippe, Kristin Wiig, Val Kilmer
by Alan Bacchus
Based on the SNL skits which ran as very short interstitials in between the live sketches, MacGruber surprisingly got expanded into a 90mins feature. Back then it was based on a recurring gag which lampooned the silly Richard Dean Anderson Saturday evening action series MacGyver. Now as a feature, it builds upon the SNL skits and morphs into something completely different than the original intended MacGyver spoof.
Before I go on, let's be clear that MacGruber is not a great movie. But comedy is a different breed of genre, and its difficult to dismiss the film completely. It happens to be one of a number of cases where I'd recommendable it for only a couple of scenes. Step Brothers also comes to mind. What that film has in common with MacGruber, other than a blanket of dumbed down juvenile silliness are two scenes that are so rip-roaringly funny, it colours my perception of the entire film. For Step Brothers it’s the two ‘sleepwalking scenes’ which feature Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly walking their sleep causing mass destruction in their parents house – scenes. I giggle just writing about it.
In MacGruber, there are two sex scenes featuring the bombastic super agent MacGruber making love with such ugliness, they are so goddamned hilarious. And regardless of how bland and repetitive MacGruber might be, they are worth the purchase or rental alone.
The rest of MacGruber is kind of a shameless retread of Austin Powers. Instead of coming back from the 60’s, MacGruber is a super agent from the 80's presumed dead but living in a remote village, much like the introduction of Rambo in Rambo III. His nemesis, hammed up to the max by a bloated Val Kilmer (he must have filmed this back to back with Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans), has come back with a world domination terrorist plot involving a heavily phallicized missile.
MacGruber returns to action, with his uniform of preference, blue flannel, khaki vest and mullett. He also employs a new team including stuck up straight man agent Ryan Phillipe and MacGruber's former female partner now retired played by Kristin Wiig. Much like Austin Powers' politically incorrectness MacGruber's 80's point of view of the world, his crass attitude and 1980's false bravado comes into conflict with a new millenium way of thinking.
Will Forte and Kristin are great comedic actors and their timing is impeccable, but the gags are almost all predictable, uninspired and out of the Austin Powers/bathroom humour mould. But there's always those gut busting sex scenes to cherish. Don't expect much and you might have a decent time.
MacGruber is available on DVD from Alliance Films in Canada