I like movies based on Saturday Night Live sketches more than most people (I happen to think The Ladies Man is one of the great underrated comedies of the last decade) so I was hoping more than anyone for the MacGruber movie to be awesome. Well, it fills me with disappointment to say that I only laughed a couple of times here and there. As Saturday Night Live adaptations go, this one is about on par with Superstar.
If you’re unfamiliar with MacGruber, he’s this MacGyver knockoff played by Will Forte who tries to dismantle bombs but they always end up exploding anyway. This one-note joke is appropriate for a two minute sketch and luckily for the audience, the filmmakers limit this joke’s appearance to the end of the movie. Too bad they forgot to put jokes into the rest of the flick.
Basically the plot boils down to a terrorist named Dieter Von Cunth (are you laughing yet?) played by Val Kilmer threatening D.C. with a nuclear warhead. MacGruber is called out of retirement to stop him. After MacGruber accidentally blows up his commando squad (which is comprised solely of WWE wrestlers), he asks his girlfriend Vicky St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and a wet behind the ears rookie (Ryan Philippe) to help take down Von Cunth.
The best thing I can say about the movie is that the tone is just right. The flick is played very seriously (or at least as serious as your average Direct to DVD action movie) and all the actors more or less play their roles completely straight (especially Powers Boothe as MacGruber’s superior). The exception of course is MacGruber, who acts like a total idiot.
I think this approach could’ve worked if only they had some funnier jokes. Overall, I think I laughed about four or five times during the movie (and the first time was almost a half hour into the flick). There’s a scene where MacGruber sticks a stalk of celery up his ass (he later eats it), a funny line of dialogue when MacGruber talks about why Von Cunth hates him so much (it has to do with MacGruber running away with Von Cunth’s wife while she was pregnant and he tells her to abort it because he wants them to “start fresh”), and the final scene where MacGruber goes to cut off Von Cunth’s dick and well… I don’t want to spoil ALL the good moments for you. Other than that, the humor is extremely weak. If you’re a twelve year old who automatically laughs any time someone says the word “fuck” or any of it’s variations, you’ll probably laugh your head off though.