REVIEW: MacGruber

2 12 2010

There’s a great scene in “MacGruber” where Kristen Wiig really finds her comedic element.  Forced to masquerade as the titular tacky, mulleted ’80s mock-action hero, she futzes around awkwardly in a coffee shop and tries to explain to the cashier what’s going on.  It’s reminiscent of some of her golden work on “Saturday Night Live,” where she can turn just about any character into a hilarious one.

But alas, that is one scene, and this one moment of laughter is nowhere near enough to redeem the other 90 minutes of “MacGruber” that are void of it.  Honestly, whoever let this movie pass needs to be locked in a room with a bomb and left to defuse it with nothing.  These sketches have been trite filler for “SNL” for three years, and the only laughs they garner are uneasy ones.  Not to mention it’s a movie centered around Will Forte, who is often so pathetic that it becomes painful to watch.

Throwing Ryan Phillipe into the mix to give the movie’s acting corps some legitimacy outside of 30 Rock just makes things worse.  Trying to take the movie seriously, Reese Witherspoon’s frosty-curled ex-husband just looks like a buffoon.  It’s not difficult to understand that there’s nothing serious about this movie; “MacGruber” is a ridiculous, farcical send-up of the ridiculous 1980s action movies.  There’s no shame in presenting a movie in this style – provided that the satire is done well.  In this case, it feels like the movie was written on the back of cue cards for yet another uninspired “What’s Up With That?” sketch.

There are movies that beg you not to be taken seriously, and then there are those that beg you not to take the craft of cinema seriously.  “MacGruber” is the latter of the two, trying to fly on the flimsy premise that a sketch that can barely sustain two minutes on TV could make an entertaining movie that’s 45 times bigger.  Perhaps Lorne Michaels will come up with a more clever way to make money off this movie in the future: take “MacGruber” off the case and slap on the title “The Worst of Will Forte.”  D



One response

4 12 2010
Paragraph Film Reviews

I really, really enjoyed it. Like Hot Rod and a whole bunch of other SNL-based casts in the UK we go into all these films totally bind, not knowing what to expect.

Those two sex scenes are worth the entrance/DVD fee alone!

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