Saturday, August 29, 2009


Yes, I'm doing an extra special Saturday review.

Genre: Comedy
Premise: SNL-sketch veteran MacGruber teams up with the best timer in the world Vicki and hotshot rookie Piper to take down his arch-nemesis Cunth. (you read that right) The entire SNL team is behind the project. Fast-tracked is an understatement for this film, as the script was finished in June and they have to be done shooting by SNL's late September premiere.
Writers: Will Forte, John Solomon, and Jorma Taccone

Well, let me start off by saying that I'm a fan of the SNL sketch, which parodies MacGyver. If you haven't seen the sketch, it involves MacGruber (Will Forte), Vicki (Kristen Wiig), and that week's host trapped inside a room that contains a bomb that will explode in a matter of seconds. As MacGruber uses random items to try and defuse the bomb, some type of tension between the characters will get in the way and the bomb ends up exploding.

Ok, you may ask yourself, how do you extend this 2 minute (max) sketch into a full length movie? Well, it's pretty hard. The basic plot is this. There's a guy named Cunth (yes, Cunth, and he's going to be played by Val Kilmer) who has a nuclear warhead, and he's going to use it. All he needs are the codes. Then we have MacGruber, who is still grieving over the death of his wife, who was killed on their wedding day by Cunth himself. So MacGruber, who is out of the government agent game, gets back into said game to take revenge out on Cunth.

So where does it go from here? MacGruber assembles a bad-ass team of course! He's got the most bad-ass of bad-asses. They include the likes of Frank Korver, Tanker Lutz, Tut Beemer, Tug Phelps, and Vernon Freedom. I know, pretty bad ass, right? Well, unfortunately they all get in a van Grubes has filled with C4, and it explodes killing them all. So now MacGruber needs a new team. His old pal Vicki, the greatest timer in the world offers to help, and MacGruber is ordered to let a rookie named Piper (to be played by Ryan Phillipe) tag along. So this is our crew, and it's their mission to go pound some Cunth!

So we get some action scenes, but ultimately, MacGruber is emotionally compromised and is taken off the mission. To make matters worse, there's rift formed between Grubes and Piper when the mulleted hero uses the rookie as a human shield. And to top it all off, Cunth kidnaps Vicki and everyone thinks he's innocent, but he really plans on blowing up the White House during the President's State of the Union address. Only MacGruber knows about this plan, but nobody believes him, so it's up to him and Piper to save the day.

Sound cliche? It really, really is. MacGruber is filled with overly cheesy one-liners that are meant to be atrocious. But that doesn't necessarily make them funny. Not to mention all the recycled jokes and gags. Like all of Grubes' buddies getting blown up? Zoolander, anyone? Or the fact that MacGruber offers to let the Colonel suck his dick if he's allowed back on the mission (ehem. Jack Black's proposal to Brandon T. Jackson in Tropic Thunder, anyone?)

But then we get our finale. It's our first glimpse in the script that has anything to do with the sketch. We've got MacGruber, Piper, Vicki, and Cunth all in a room together with a bomb that's about to blow the White House to smithereens. Even this is a let down, as it doesn't match the humor I find in the SNL sketch.

So what we've got is an SNL sketch tried to be drawn out into a feature film. Some of it works, but overall, it's better left in 3-minute format on the small screen. I realize that on the big screen some of the jokes will work better, but most of this had a been-there, done-that feel to it. I will say this though, the epilogue was pretty amusing. I won't give it away, but I will say it's a strong contender for the best death scene of 2010.

[] Somebody should be fired
[] Bad
[x] Mediocre
[] Worth the read
[] Great
[] Amazing

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