MacGruber

PLOT:

The film begins in eastern Siberia’s Dzhugdzhur Mountains with Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer), the villain, and his men taking control of the X-5 missile, which contains a nuclear warhead. The scene then shifts to an Ecuadorian monastery, where Col. Jim Faith (Powers Boothe) and Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) have come to find MacGruber. The two military men find MacGruber (Will Forte) meditating in a chapel, and try to convince him to return to the United States. MacGruber refuses, even when he learns that the purpose of his return would be to go after his nemesis, Cunth. However, later that night, MacGruber explodes into a fit of rage after a flashback where Cunth killed his would-be wife Casey Sullivan (Maya Rudolph) at their wedding, and decides to take Faith up on his offer.

MacGruber goes to the Pentagon, and, eventually, finds Col. Faith. After a heated and violent conversation with Faith and Piper, MacGruber decides he will form his own team to pursue Cunth, and will not tolerate Piper on his team. MacGruber visits all his potential team members and is successful in recruiting all but his long time friend Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Brick Hughes (Big Show), the latter out of homophobia. MacGruber and his team meet Faith and Piper on a tarmac. Upon being questioned where his team is, MacGruber responds that they are in the van (seen in the background) along with his homemade C-4 explosives. The van promptly explodes, killing the whole team. The scene shifts to Faith’s office; MacGruber is distraught over the loss of the team and his removal from the Cunth case. In a one on one conversation with Piper, MacGruber repeatedly offers to perform sexual acts on, or with, him if he will join his team. Vicki also arrives, completing MacGruber’s team.

The group then travels to Cunth’s nightclub in Las Vegas. MacGruber’s Miata is insulted by a man driving a car with license plate KFBR392, which he vigorously tries to remember. MacGruber then enters the nightclub and announces who he is and his intentions, as well as where he can be found the next day. The team then tries to set up a sting operation, with Vicki pretending to be MacGruber. However, the van MacGruber and Piper are sitting in is attacked by Haas Bender, one of Cunth’s henchmen. MacGruber tells Piper to pass him an Incredi-Mop, which he uses to turn the ignition key and hit the gas pedal, running down Bender. Having Vickie assume the guise of Bender, the team then breaks into a warehouse to stop von Cunth from getting the passcodes to operate the rocket. MacGruber distracts the guards by walking around naked with a piece of celery clenched between his buttocks. Piper manages to kill most of the men inside, but is unable to stop the transfer of the pass codes (due to MacGruber insisting on using a homemade grenade made from a tennis ball, which fizzles). MacGruber and the team then go to a charity event Cunth is holding. MacGruber breaks into a poker game between Cunth and an influential senator. MacGruber tells the senator Cunth is bluffing, which winds up being a very bad move, leading Cunth to win the game. After a heated conversation, MacGruber is thrown out by Cunth’s guards who also break Macgruber’s beloved stereo, which he eventually does a poor job repairing with duct tape.

After the fiasco, MacGruber returns to the Pentagon where he is told he is a liability. The scene then shifts to MacGruber and Piper drinking and hanging out. However, the two men are suddenly attacked. MacGruber uses Piper as a human shield to survive, and Vicki and MacGruber escape in the Miata. Piper survives due to the fact that he was wearing a bullet proof vest, but is disgusted that MacGruber used him as protection, and leaves him. Vicki and MacGruber then return to Vicki’s house where the two have sex. MacGruber then goes to his wife’s grave in shame, but he sees her ghost, who gives her blessing to allow MacGruber to pursue Vicki. They have sex immediately afterwards.

Upon returning to Vicki’s house (and destroying the car with the license plate KFBR392), MacGruber discovers that Vicki has been kidnapped, and realizes what Cunth’s plan is: to bomb the State of the Union address. Cunth calls MacGruber to gloat, but MacGruber is able to trace the call. MacGruber then meets up with Piper to save Vicki. The two men make their way into Cunth’s compound, in large part due to MacGruber’s propensity for ripping throats. The two are captured and are taken to where Vicki and the missile are located. The group manages to overpower Cunth and his men and handcuff Cunth to a handrail. MacGruber then removes the nuclear component and disables the missile launch before his team escapes as missile explodes. The scene then shifts to MacGruber and Vicki’s wedding six months later. Out of the corner of his eye, MacGruber spies a disfigured Cunth (who was believed to have died in the explosion) with an RPG. MacGruber saves Vicki, and then battles Cunth before throwing him off a cliff behind the altar, shooting him with a machine gun as he falls, incinerating the recently dead corpse and finally urinating on it at the foot of the cliff.

REVIEW:

 Chances are you’ve seen, or at least heard of, the MacGruber sketches that had been a staple of Saturday Night Live until this year when Will Forte decided to leave to pursue bigger projects (he thinks the “success” of this movie will make him the next Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, or other SNL alumni who have went on to have successful movie careers). If you have, then you are probably like me and wondered how a sketch that most of the time doesn’t even last a minute can translate into a full-length(99 minutes) motion picture. The answer to the question is surprisingly better than one would think.

The thing that made MacGruber work so well on TV was that it was a parody of the old show McGyver, and made no qualms about being such. So, one would imagine that we’d have plenty of the scenes that made the sketch “funny”, and some wannabe McGyver moments, right? Wrong!

We only get the one scene toward the end of the film that is what the sketches were and as far as MacGruber doing the McGyver thing…well, he does it here and there, but not as much as I would have liked.

The tagline for this film reads “…The Funniest Film since Wayne’s World“. That is a bold statememnt…and one that this film just doesn’t live up to. Sure, there are a couple of funny moments, but mostly, it feels as if MacGruber is just trying too hard to not fail and prove that this was worth making.

I didn’t quite understand the whole plot of this film. I mean, it is your basic villain wants to blow up _____ scenario, but for some reason it just didn’t work. I guess because in the sketches, there is no real plot. So, to stick one in to make a film didn’t do it for me.

Strangely enough, the same can be said for all the other SNL films. Sometimes they work (Wayne’s World, Coneheads, Blues Brothers) and sometimes they don’t (Night at the Roxbury, It’s Pat, Stuart Saves His Family).

I also didn’t get the sex scene. What I mean by that is, it wasn’t set up well enough. In the Naked Gun franchise (I forget which one it is in), where Lt. Drebin is getting his freak on with the lady d jour of the film, the joke is set up perfectly, but here it was just randomly done. I’ve seen porn that sets up better!

To make matters worse, the whole ghost sex in the cemetery just made no sense, even for a comedy like this one. In one scene Maya Rudolph is translucent, and in the next she’s solid and getting rammed on her own grave! WTF?!?

 The casting here was 50/50 for me. The comedians worked for what they were supposed to do, and Val Kilmer wasn’t bad as the villanous von Cunth, but I have to question Ryan Philippe and Powers Boothe choosing to be in this flick. They both seem so uncomfortable, bored, and disinterested in their parts. It was as if they were there just to collect their paycheck.

It also seemed as if they raided the WWE for MacGruber’s team. Chris Jericho, Kane, Mark Henry, Great Khali, MVP, and Big Show all make brief cameo appearances. Sure, these guys look menacing, but really, what was the point?

If you’re going into this film with high expectations, then you need to get your head examined. MacGruber is nothing more than a waste of SNL resources. The fact that Forte left the show after this was released saying he wanted to pursue other projects may very well turn out to be the biggest mistake of his life. That being said, as bad as this film is, I expected way worse. Do I recommend it? Not really, but if you’re the curious type, like me, then check it out and appease that curiosity.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

3 Responses to “MacGruber”

  1. Sometimes it’s okay to be lowbrow. Maybe I was just in the right mood, but this had me giggling consistently, with several outright guffaws. Included one of the funniest sex scenes I’ve ever seen. Good review, check out mine when you can!

  2. Mystery Man Says:

    you’re right. i guess i just wasn’t in the mood when i watched this. who knows?

    as always, thanks for the comment! i’m a little tied up this week, but as soon as i get the chance, i’ll swing by and check yours out!

  3. […] SNL films. It just goes to show how far things have fallen, and don’t forget how horrible MacGruber  the latest from the studio, which was horrible, as […]

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