“MacGruber” is pretty much what you expect, ninety minutes of SNL style ridiculousness much in the vein of other Saturday Night Live inspired movies like “Night at the Roxbury” or “Stuart Saves His Family”. The setup is quick and obvious, MacGruber is an elite government weapon unto himself, coming out of retirement to stop his arch nemesis (played by Val Kilmer) from unleashing a nuke. Out of necessity MacGruber teams up with Lt. Piper (Ryan Phillippe) and Vicki St. Elmo (Kirsten Wiig) to form his crew of misfits.
Why you’ll like this:
Silly, idiotic humor, SNL-style
The surprising part was that the opening scene is fairly serious, certainly the only piece that maintains a straight face, but I suppose that sets the tone to allow the rest to contrast so heavily. The rest of the film continues a series of plays on formulaic movie cliches ranging from gathering your super-group of heroes to the bad guy’s fancy party. I can’t say it doesn’t all work, because a good deal of it will generate the laughs you’re wanting, but a lot of it depends on shock factor.
Why you won’t like this:
Crude; if you prefer high brow comedy this isn’t for you
Outside of pure over-the-top antics, the other side of the coin is that MacGruber lives in the 80s and this is reflected in his awesome ‘do, his radical threads and refined musical tastes. Some of it becomes rather one-note and grows a bit tiresome, much of it feels pretty cliche in a movie about movie cliches. “Oh, you’re character has a mullett! That’s such a fresh take!” But that’s the playing field we’ve been expectedly dealt.
The overall mix is enough that I got a few solid out loud laughs and more than a few reliable “Wow, really going there right now…..still going there….any moment now….really…”, but if you’re in the mood to check your brain at the door and laugh at Will Ferrell style nonsense, then this is probably right up your alley, but you’ll never look at celery the same. ::shudder::
3 out of 5 Stars.
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer, Powers Boothe
Director: Jorma Taccone
Running Time: 1 hr. 39 min.
Release Date: May 21, 2010