By Aaron Fenn
Movie: MacGruberStarring: WillForte, Kristen Wigg, Ryan
PhillippeRuntime: 1 hr 28 mins.Final rating: 3 out of 4
There’s an illogic moment in the opening credits of “MacGruber”
that features Will Forte’s title character playing a saxophone,
shirtless, on top of a crate in an industrial compound.
The scene doesn’t last more than five seconds, but from that
moment on, the stupidity grows and grows into the film whose humor
is all at once random, low-brow and really, really dumb. And by the
way, that’s a compliment.
“MacGruber” is based on the 90-second sketches from “SNL”
featuring Will Forte’s MacGruber (clearly a takeoff of MacGyver)
who has to diffuse a bomb in a short amount of time.
If there are 20 seconds on the ticking time bomb, MacGruber
spends about the first 10 asking for random, sometimes disgusting,
objects like bottle caps or dog feces to diffuse it.
MacGruber then spends the last 10 seconds going off on tangents
that have nothing to do with the task at hand and suddenly,
everything blows up and a voice over shouts:
Thankfully the film “MacGruber” is not just an elongated version
of the skit, but rather, a stupidly hilarious spoof on 80s action
movies and one laugh-out-loud, nonsensical joke after another.
All of the standard “action movie” cliches are intact.
There’s the villain, Val Kilmer’s diabolical Dieter Von Cunth,
who is in possession of a nuclear warhead and plans on destroying
There’s the hero, Forte’s idiotic MacGruber, who after being
pronounced dead for 10 years suits up in his khaki vest and mullet
haircut to “pound” the aforementioned villain.
The straight man is Ryan Phillippe’s youthful Lt. Dixon Piper,
who doesn’t initially think that MacGruber is the best man for the
And finally there’s the female sidekick, Kristen Wiig’s charming
Vicki St. Elmo, who has been secretly in love with MacGruber.
Yes, it all sounds incredibly cliche, but in a weird way that’s
part of “MacGruber’s” appeal.
The humor is unbelievably dim-witted but for some reason, it
Forte is hysterical as MacGruber. Whether he’s describing what
an “upper-decker” is, strategically placing a stalk of celery
somewhere on his body to distract the enemy, or making passionate
(and quite comical) love to the ladies in his life, Forte is
Director Jorma Taccone takes incompetence to a whole other level
with “MacGruber” and succeeds in not only providing hysterical
comedic moments, but also offering a pretty solid action movie as
While “MacGruber” doesn’t have the flare or style that other
action movie spoofs like “Hot Fuzz” have, it includes some pretty
solid moments of graphic violence involving “throat-ripping” as
well as an entirely satisfying, ridiculous and over-the-top
While towards the end the oral sex jokes and nudity may get
slightly tiresome, the majority of the film works on a level
somewhere between stupidity and strange genius.
If you slightly giggled when you read Kilmer’s character’s last
name, then “MacGruber” might just be the idiotically hilarious time
at the movies you’re looking for.
Reach Aaron Fenn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy of SNL Studios
SNL movie pokes fun at ’80s action heroes
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