Studio: Universal Pictures
Length: 99 Minutes
Rating: R for strong crude and sexual content, violence, language and some nudity.
Theatrical Release: May 21, 2010
Directed by: Jorma Taccone
Written by: Will Forte & John Solomon & Jorma Taccone.
Will Forte - MacGruber
Kristen Wiig - Vicki St. Elmo
Ryan Phillippe - Lt. Dixon Piper
Val Kilmer - Dieter Von Cunth
Powers Boothe - Col. James Faith
The ultimate tool.
May 22, 2010
Grade: B+ (Fresh)
The bar for Saturday Night Live-inspired films is set appropriately low. After all, for every Blues Brothers or Wayne’s World (the diamonds of the genre), there’s a The Ladies Man, Superstar, A Night at the Roxbury, Coneheads, or many other failures. That MacGruber is as consistently funny and inspired as it is will certainly catch many off-guard. As a Naked Gun-style approach (more so in its dialogue than from a visual standpoint) to roasting 80’s action movie clichés, it gets the job done.
Will Forte stars as the title character, an ex-special operative who’s since retired after being one of the most decorated military figures in American history. When his arch-nemesis, Dieter von Cunth (Kilmer), acquires a nuclear warhead and intends to blow up Washington, MacGruber puts together a ragtag group, consisting of Vicki St. Elmo (Wiig) and Lt. Dixon Piper (Phillipe), to stop him. MacGruber’s methods are unorthodox, to say the least.
Taking a one-minute interlude from SNL and turning it into a full-length feature seems like a lose-lose proposition, but director Jorma Taccone and his scripting team have taken a go-for-broke approach that works. The jokes come fast and furious, and more often than not stick. Everything 80’s is sent up; with special nods to the Rambo flicks (Powers Boothe plays the old Richard Crenna part of the Colonel) and a host of 80’s music whose use inspires as much laughter as some of the gags.
Will Forte makes the transition to the big screen pretty well, especially during extensive monologues that he somehow made it through without laughing. Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillipe make for good foils, particularly as Phillipe, the hard-boiled newcomer, must adapt to MacGruber’s bizarre ways of handling what would otherwise be serious situations. It’s Val Kilmer, however, as Cunth that is the scene-stealer. He’s mixed the concoction of Dr. Evil and a suave 80’s villain very well.
MacGruber will appeal the most to those who are familiar with past action clichés (hell, some of them are still current) and can appreciate the inside humor of those cinematic years gone by. The spoof genre had appeared dead for many years, but MacGruber has a spirit and determination to entertain that is reminiscent of a lot of the spoof films from the glory days. For a film with a trailer that didn’t elicit one laugh for me, it’s a very pleasant surprise.
May 21, 2013 - 11:04pm EDT
This new trailer focuses on the plans of General Zod in the movie. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 8:29pm EDT
Watch Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel's confessionals from this apocalyptic comedy, in theaters June 12th. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 8:26pm EDT
Three teenage friends decide to build their own house in the wilderness for a summer in this coming-of-age comedy, debuting May 31st. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 7:33pm EDT
The iconic entertainer stars in this upcoming drama about a widowed Jazz pianist who discovers a shocking truth about his deceased wife. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 7:10pm EDT
The author is writing the screenplay for 20th Century Fox's adaptation of the John D. MacDonald novel series. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 7:10pm EDT
Plus, fans can start purchasing their tickets today for director Zack Snyder's highly-anticipated superhero adventure, in theaters June 14th. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 6:43pm EDT
Brad Pitt tries to protect his family from zombie madness in this look at director Marc Forster's upcoming summer thriller. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 5:40pm EDT
The actor showcases his evil chops as Aldrich Killian's muscle in director Shane Black's sequel, currently playing in theaters everywhere. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 4:57pm EDT
The actress will play a woman with a personality disorder who uses her lottery winnings to create a cable talk show about herself. [...]
May 21, 2013 - 3:23pm EDT
Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton star as two vampires who create havoc on a small coastal town in director Neil Jordan's horror-thriller. [...]