Friday, May 21, 2010
Movie review: MacGruber
Glacier glasses, Blaupunkt, and a sweet, sweet mullet make him a man to be reckoned with.
Longtime SNL utility guy Jorma Taccone has achieved something rare with MacGruber, a film he both directed and co-wrote: he's made a hilariously entertaining feature length film from a Saturday Night Live skit. (And a pretty darn lame skit, at that.)
It helps that the filmmakers decided to break out of their TV audience-friendly boundaries by going R-rated: some of the action (and a lot of the dialog) included in the film just wouldn't be as funny toned down to PG-13 level. The outrageousness amps up the humor value.
For instance, the personal services that MacGruber (Will Forte) offers to perform in order to get Col. James Faith (Powers Boothe) to put him back on the job would have to be hinted at euphemistically, rather than flat-out discussed. (My advice: don't make MacGruber beg.)
The assignment MacGruber's been removed from involves the location and defusing of a nuclear missile stolen by black-suited villain Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer, quietly and amusingly menacing). Cunth and his minions (black-suited all) turn out to be no match for MacGruber and his sidekicks, Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) and Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) -- even though they (the villains) seem to be always one step ahead of the bumbling master of household device weaponry. This is because MacGruber's got one thing they'll never have: a sweet, sweet mullet.
MacGruber also has a cherry red Miata, a smokin' pair of glacier glasses, and a removable car stereo that he takes with him everywhere. (It's a Blaupunkt.)
Piper plays the genuinely-skilled foil to MacGruber's confident incompetent. (Guess what? They wind up learning from each other.) Vicki St. Elmo provides the fawning lapdog love interest, and also serves as the focus of the movie's most hilarious scene, which finds MacGruber doing his best Meg Ryan. (And it's a mighty fine one.)
The preposterous action plays out with dead earnestness -- otherwise a lampoon such as this just wouldn't fly. One caveat: Forte's MacGruber is a hugely annoying character. When you're not laughing at him, you'll likely be wanting to choke the life out of him.
As for Taccone's MacGruber: prepare to laugh your ass off.
VALEDICTORY: "Hoss Bender. Dead at the age of who-the-f**k-cares." - MacGruber, triumphant