Rated R 88 min. 2010

The movie is based on a series of SNL sketches spoofing ’80s TV series MacGyver. Besides the obvious question of who thought it was pertinent to poke fun at an 18-years-dead TV show, the skits in question only last about 30 seconds. What usually kind of works as a five-minute-long TV segment very rarely works when drawn out over 90 minutes; go dig up a copy of Stuart Saves His Family if you need an example. In the case of MacGruber, what’s just dumb in 30 seconds becomes an exercise in the most egregious way to blow millions of dollars of studio money this side of setting it on fire in front of starving children. MacGruber’s mission is to stop a criminal mastermind (Val Kilmer) from destroying Washington, D.C., with a stolen warhead. The plot isn’t important; it’s just a means of getting from gag to gag. At least that’s the theory, except there’s maybe one actual joke with an actual punch line attached. The best example is Kilmer’s character’s name, Dieter Von Cunth. MacGruber gets as much mileage as possible by repeating his last name. And that’s pretty much it — just a word that sounds like another word and the hope that the audience’s Pavlovian instincts will kick in. The entire movie is this way. Ryan Phillippe getting a celery stalk inserted into his rectum (yes, this happens) isn’t the height of hilarity or offensiveness (though it’s probably pretty symbolic of his career path), it’s just dumb and toothless.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Jorma Taccone

Writer: Will Forte, John Solomon and Jorma Taccone

Producer: John Goldwyn, Ryan Kavanaugh and Lorne Michaels

Cast: Val Kilmer, Ryan Phillipe, Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, Powers Boothe and Maya Rudolph

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