Friday, May 21, 2010


MacGruber is the latest in a slew of Saturday Night Live spin-off feature films to hit the big screen, but where it differs from many of its predecessors is that it actually delivers beyond just a funny Trailer. It is ridiculous, repulsive, offensive and I absolutely loved it.

The comedy, directed by Saturday Night Live writer Jorma Taccone, is actually his directorial feature debut. The film, co-written by its star Will Forte is held up almost completely by him as a One Man Show with his brilliant sense of timing, fearlessness and witty writing.

The story has retired special operative MacGruber back on a mission to protect Washington, DC against a planned nuclear attack by Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer); yes, it's pronounced just as it's spelled. After accidentally - albeit hilariously - killing off his team of helpers, MacGruber is desperate for help and successfully convinces long-time object of desire Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and initially reluctant Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillipe) to come aboard.

MacGruber though, has ulterior motives other than saving the innocent people of America. He suspects that Von Cunth was responsible for killing his wife Casey (Maya Rudolph) out of jealousy as he too was involved with her previously ten years prior.   On paper this sounds outright ridiculous in this age of humility and realism, although it would have been completely acceptable in the era this film pays homage to, the over-the-top action films of the '80s. Will MacGruber & Co. survive Von Cunth's ruthless attempts to dispose of them and will they accomplish their task to save the lies of innocent Americans? But more importantly, will the self-absorbed and oft bumbling hero self destruct?

This Comedy earns a majority of its laughs through vulgarity. Forte is seen with a stalk of Celery planted in his buttocks, naked and wandering about like a Turkey to distract his enemies. In what will surely leave an imprint on the public's psyche, he delivers one of the most awkward orgasms ever captured on camera for the sake of poking fun at the machismo of every action hero who inspired his character.

With Tarantino-like bravado, MacGruber rips the throats out of his enemies without a trace of mercy, also threatening to then stuff his enemies' manhood in their mouths.  Randomly throughout the movie too, he  offers to perform sexual acts on those he is at mercy to, out of desperation and dedication to his mission. Yes, you need an appreciation for low-brow humour to understand this film, but if exaggerated violence and lewd jokes are your thing, this film is made for you (and me!).

Aside from being fantastic himself as the complex ignorant, macho and vulnerable hero, Forte is supported by the outstanding Wiig, who is hilarious with her sung lines and hyper-passiveness.  If you wait for the film's credits, you'll get a sample of her genius musings inspired by her pure, unadulterated love for MacGruber. And perhaps what makes Phillippe's performance so fitting here too is that he takes his role so seriously, while the film pokes fun at perceptions of Masculinity. Kilmer though, lacks the fire here to be truly convincing as a villain, but nonetheless it is not enough to detract from the big picture.

Alliance Films and Rogue Pictures' MacGruber is wildly entertaining and non-stop laughs from start to finish. The film opens in wide release Friday, May 21, 2010. Grade: A

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