Written by Pirata Hermosa
Saturday Night Live was created in 1975, and since then a number of films have been produced based on some of the more popular reoccurring skits. Unfortunately, up to this time only two of them have translated successfully onto the big screen, 1980’s The Blues Brothers, which was based on musical performances by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, and Wayne’s World starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as two geeks that produce their own television show from Wayne’s basement. But even after the success of these two films, neither one could produce a worthy sequel.
While most SNL skits are based on one joke that is just repeated over and over again, the two most popular films were exceptions to the norm. Unfortunately, MacGruber is not one of the exceptions. Instead, the skit is based on MacGruber (Will Forte) who is playing a caricature of the popular MacGyver from the popular ’80s television show of the same name. The skits are all about MacGruber trying to disarm some kind of bomb using nothing but his wits and whatever random objects happen to be lying around. But unlike MacGyver, MacGruber always gets distracted and ends up with the bomb blowing up in his face. With such a limited scope of characterization I wasn’t sure what anyone could do to make a full-length feature film worth watching, and after seeing the film it was obvious that the writers couldn’t find anything either.
The film starts with a nuclear missile being stolen in Russia by Macgruber’s arch nemesis, Dieter Van Cunth (Val Kilmer). A name that neither he nor the audience will ever forget, mostly since he is referred to by his last name pronounced with a silent H, which is repeated over and over to a nauseating degree.
In order to “pound Cunth”, MacGruber must put together a strong team of mercenaries of his own. But his plans change after he accidentally blows them all up in his van. Struggling to convince his superiors to give him another try so he can avenge the death of his wife he puts together a ragtag team consisting of Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Philippe).
The three bumble and stumble along following any lead they can find, while MacGruber keeps dressing up the other two to look like him so he can flush out anyone that might want to kill him. It all climaxes in a fight between the two adversaries with MacGruber having to disarm the nuclear warhead.
The Blu-ray includes both the Uncut and Theatrical version of the film as well as special features. The special features are just as disappointing as the film itself. There is only one deleted scene. The gag reel is flat and boring. And finally there’s the regular obligatory commentary with director, writers and Will Forte.
The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen 2.35:1 with the audio DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The picture is sharp and clean, but with the story being set in the ‘80s and having an older look to it the video didn’t appear to reach its full potential. The same can also be said of the audio, which really seemed to perform only during the giant explosions that could throw you out of your seat at full volume.
Going into this film I had pretty low expectations, but unfortunately my expectations weren’t low enough. Logically, you would think that it might be a poor man’s MacGyver imitation filled with cheesy ’80s references with miraculous escapes made using only a piece of string and a coconut. If that was the case, there might have at least been an element of charm to the film. In fact, it had no charm whatsoever. Every other word out of MacGruber’s mouth was the F-word. He was a total jerk throughout and when he had to beg Lt. Piper to join his team by letting him have sex with him, any integrity the film had was lost.
There were a couple of humorous moments in the film, like the running gag of always taking his car stereo with him whenever he got out of his car, or the distraction technique of dancing around naked with a piece of celery clenched between his butt cheeks. But the laughs were too few and far between The film had already reached such a debase level that even those moments didn’t warrant a chuckle.