'MacGruber' is dumb but fun - East Valley Tribune: Movies

Movie Review 'MacGruber' is dumb but fun

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Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 1:24 pm

"MacGruber" is one of those movies that made me laugh in anticipation even before Will Forte graces the screen with his SNL character's 1980s-style mullet, clothes and cheesy musical soundtrack. It must have been the sweet tunes by Mr. Mister and Toto.

The film expands from the "Saturday Night Live" sketches of the wacky "MacGruber," a "MacGyver" spoof who is forever trying to defuse a bomb with household items such as a stick of gum, a paper clip and a rubber band.

The results always end in an explosion, and seemingly don't end up well for MacGruber and his faithful sidekick, Kristen Wiig, known in the movie as Vicki St. Elmo. She's always the one counting down the seconds until the bomb blows up, which it always does.

The movie version of "MacGruber" takes that sketch and turns it into a full-on spoof of action movies, the cheesiness of '80s style and music, and bathroom humor.

I'm not a fan of the sketch, but thought the movie was funny and entertaining, especially because I'm a big fan of the comic geniuses of Forte and Wiig.

MacGruber is a decorated former military operative who is called back to duty to find a nuclear warhead stolen by his arch nemesis, Dieter Von Cunth, played by a fat and boring Val Kilmer. (Oh, how I miss the Kilmer from the Real Genius and Top Gun days!)

MacGruber uncovers his beloved red Miata with its old-school pull-out brick radio he carries around, cuts his long, curly hair back to his signature mullet, and puts on his enemy-killing clothes of a camping vest over a flannel shirt and jeans.

MacGruber assembles his team of brawny men, only to have them blown up soon after in the van where he stored his homemade explosives.

So, he assembles another team, bringing Vicki St. Elmo and rookie Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) into the mix.

Although MacGruber is skilled at ripping his enemy's throats out, he is dimwitted when it comes to clues and never quite gets a handle on his homemade weapons. He doesn't use guns, and still can't defuse bombs.

The film moves along at a good pace, with plenty of bathroom, R-rated humor and male nudity. The sex scenes are pretty funny.

Jorma Taccone, one-third of the musical comedy group, Lonely Island, and a writer on "SNL," makes his directorial movie debut with "MacGruber." Taccone also co-wrote the film with Forte and fellow SNL writer John Solomon.

If you're a fan of "SNL" humor, I think you'll like this movie more.

But, even my brother, who doesn't watch "SNL," laughed the whole way through.

It's a dumb flick, but it's supposed to be dumb. It's kind of like "Zoolander," but not as funny.



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