Movie Review: ‘MacGruber’ not as good as ‘Wayne’s World,’ not as bad as ‘It’s Pat’
As “Saturday Night Live” skits turned into movies go, “MacGruber” is better than you might expect but still not good enough to merit full-length feature treatment.
If you were to compile a list of one-joke SNL skits rightly or wrongly adapted into full-blown movies, the former (rightly) would be a paltry one: “The Blues Brothers” and “Wayne’s World.” A dubious so-so list might include “Wayne’s World 2” and “Blues Brothers 2000.” The big list (wrongly – as in wrong, wrong, wrong) includes such celluloid-wasters as “Coneheads,” “Superstar,” “Stuart Saves His Family,” “The Ladies Man,” “A Night at the Roxbury” and last, and least, “It’s Pat.”
So, charitably speaking, Will Forte’s mildly amusing spoof on that jerry-rigged TV spy series “MacGyver” stretches the skit material to the breaking point and beyond (with loads of scatological gags, gay jokes, comic explosions and a leafy stalk of celery stuck up Forte’s – well, enough said). But it delivers enough guilty, juvenile laughs to land in the so-so column (barely).
Primarily, “MacGruber” seems intent on making fun of ’80s macho action movies, tacky pop culture and, only tangentially, Richard Dean Anderson’s super-resourceful TV spy and his formula of using science-fair gizmos to blow up villains and defuse world crises.
So we have Forte’s MacGruber coming out of South American exile to thwart the mad, world-domination scheme of arch-villain Dieter von Cunth (yes, that’s the running gag, and he’s played by a very porky Val Kilmer).
The rest is just an uneven catalog is pop-culture sight gags (MacGruber’s mullet, plaid shirt and poly-vest, his cherry-red Miata sports car with the tape deck he removes every time he parks) and MacGruber screw-ups (he recruits a gnarly A-Team of macho operatives then, well, kaboom!)
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