On Saturday Night Live, “MacGruber”, a throwback to the 1980s television series, MacGyver, is played up every now and then as a skit where a hapless dope (played happily by Will Forte) has to diffuse some bomb in some dire scenario at the last second. Of course, he never succeeds and is constantly blowing himself up but he still comes back kicking even harder the next time around. Now that MacGruber is hitting the silver screen, he goes very big and I see no reason why he should have to go home again to that tiny little set.
Under the direction of SNL regular director Jorma Taccone, “MacGruber” is a film that is serious in its conviction to the complete buffoonery of its title character but not at all serious about anything else. There is nothing believable about a failed explosives expert who hasn’t progressed in the least since the ’80s but by taking his joke of a life seriously, “MacGruber” becomes real. More importantly, “MacGruber” is really funny. Forte is unflinching as MacGruber and that can’t be easy to do when you have to strut like a chicken with a piece of celery sticking out of your butt. Honestly, doesn’t that one sentence alone make you want to run out and see this movie already? What if I told you Val Kilmer plays MacGruber’s arch nemesis, Dieter Von Cunth? It’s completely asinine, yes, but that’s what makes it funny. Still not good enough? Kristen Wiig!! C’mon!
How long has it been since we last saw a Saturday Night Live inspired film that was actually watchable, let alone funny? Like most SNL films, you would think “MacGruber” would blow up in its own face. Just like the character himself though, “MacGruber” the movie has shown up at the last possible second to save the SNL films from oblivion and this time, he manages to make it out before the bomb blows everything in sight.
Review by Joseph Bélanger