Sunday, 1 September 2013

MacGruber (2010)

He's the ultimate tool - that was the tagline on the posters for MacGruber and that sums up this MacGyver spoof, developed from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

Co-written by Will Forte, John Solomon and director Jorma Taccone, MacGruber is the kind of film that you probably already know if you're going to like or not. It's dumb, often crude and certainly not subtle.

Forte stars in the title role, teamed up with Vicki St. Elmo (played by Kristen Wiig) and Lt. Dizon Piper (Ryan Phillipe) as he gets a chance to capture and bring to justice the man responsible for the most tragic day in his life, Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer). MacGruber isn't any good with guns, isn't any good with people and isn't any good at . . . . . . well . . . anything. But give him some paperclips, a pen and a jumble of wires and he somehow manages to come good. Sometimes.

I really thought I was going to like MacGruber and was surprised that I was so disappointed by it. I like all of the people involved and when I first heard of the central premise I thought it would be great fun. Sadly, it's not.

I think the main problem with the movie is that they make MacGruber SO useless. You just can't believe that this is a man who ever managed the achievements he is supposed to have under his belt. If this movie struck the kind of balance that, for example, Get Smart managed then it would have been a hell of a lot more fun.

Yes, I did indeed chuckle at the rather amusing use of celery and certainly laughed hard at MacGruber's reaction to the aftermath of an accident involving a hell of a lot of C4 but I didn't find anything that funny about the rest of the movie. Sex scenes played for laughs fell flat, the constant failings of the lead character quickly became annoying and the finale was just one dull moment after another, though I admit that there were intermittent moments of minor mirth.

Phillipe is great as the team-mate who soon realises the sad truth about the man he once idolised while Wiig does raise some laughs thanks to a couple of ridiculous disguises but Forte is saddled with a character who really is only one joke and one that's not all that funny. Kilmer . . . . . . his presence in the movie is frankly bewildering although he admirably goes along with everything that's thrown on screen.

Ironically, a lot more laughter could and should have been generated here but it limps into the distinctly average category and only just avoids being a complete dud.


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