MacGruber
Your knives missed to the left by about three feet. Try again.

Theatrical Release Date: 05/21/2010
Director: Jorma Taccone
Cast: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer, Powers Boothe, Maya Rudolph

“MacGruber” started as a Saturday Night Live skit, riffing off of the iconic (in my mind) ’80s show “MacGyver”, starring Richard Dean Anderson. The premise was that this everyman could take household items and assemble whatever tool was necessary to get himself and his colleagues out of a jam.

This become well known enough that MacGyver became a verb: as in, “Quick, take that paper clip, gum wrapper and ballpoint pen to MacGyver up an improvised explosive device” (though I can’t back up the notion that he was responsible for the term I.E.D.).

Well, as so many SNL skits have done before, it’s now MacGruber’s turn to stretch a thirty second sketch into an hour and a half. While some of these adaptations have worked (“Wayne’s World” and “The Blues Brothers” being the foremost examples), there are a litany of other attempts that are best burned and forgotten (“A Night at the Roxbury”, “Superstar”, “Stuart Saves His Family” to name a few).

I’m amused at marketing that quotes Cinematical as saying it’s the “funniest SNL movie since ‘Wayne’s World’” … which is sort of like saying that “Iron Man 2” is the best film about that particular Marvel character since “Iron Man“. Well, the fine folks at that site (and they are good) aren’t lying … it’s just that the statement is hollow considering the criteria.

While the humor in the film solely consists of how ‘funny’ it is to be vulgar; i.e. the laughs that one can derive from creepy sex scenes and sticking vegetables in one’s posterior as a tactical maneuver – it appears that the end result is exactly what the filmmakers wanted. Although I only politely chuckled at a few of the line reads by Val Kilmer, many of the audience members found the ‘shocking’ elements to be quite funny. (Of course, keep in mind, you may need to be the type of guy who thinks it’s okay to text throughout the film because there’s no way the bright light could be distracting in order to find the joy in all of it.)

All of the cast members (including ultra short cameos by a number of WWE wrestlers (Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, MVP, The Great Khali, Kane, The Big Show) who have far more charisma than the lead actors, do what you might expect from the skit turned feature. Unfortunately, the running jokes felt far too repetitive and seeing a doofus ultimately save the day has been done many times over and by far better talents.

If you truly love the MacGruber bits from SNL, feel free to check this out, you’ll probably enjoy it. I was surprised that the feature didn’t flag too much and kept its pacing quite well considering the purposefully predictable plot and so I’ll give “MacGruber” a 2.5 out of 5. It certainly isn’t my cup of tea but comedies are so subjective that if the premise seems interesting, maybe you can drink the Kool-Aid.