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MacGruber (2010)

Rating: 6/10

US Certificate: R

The world’s a scary place these days, and one of the scariest things going on in this scary place is that evil bad guy Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) has gotten his grubby evil bad guy hands on a dangerously deadly nuclear warhead and is planning to blow up Washington D/C. during an upcoming State of the Union address. Only one man can stop him, and that man is MacGruber (Will Forte), who, after managing to blow up his first team, recruits Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) to back him as he takes down the dastardly villain who is not only threatening to unleash terror and death on the world, but who also killed MacGruber’s wife on their wedding day.

So, it’s not like a decent movie based on a “Saturday Night Live” skit has never happened— The Blues Brothers and Wayne’s World are comedy classics—but for every classic, there’s a Superstar. Color me shocked, but MacGruber isn’t nearly as bad as some of the “SNL” films of the past; it’s no classic, to be sure, but it also manages to be funny, keep it simple, and deliver on whatever promises you may think were made during the previews and trailers.

The strength of MacGruber is that one, it never strays too far from its skit foundation, a feat that seems like it would be a real challenge since the skit’s whole premise is that MacGruber and friends usually get blown up in about 30 seconds. Simple math tells us that’s not going to work for a movie, so there has to be a little expansion to the plot, such as it is, in order to sustain a feature film. That expansion never gets too complicated, and the whole movie is pretty much just a satire on every action film cliché of the past three decades with some really gross bits thrown in. it works, though, for the most part at least, and when it does, it’s funny. Plus, the cast is a hoot, with even the straight men like Powers Boothe and Ryan Phillippe pulling off their roles admirably, while Forte and Wiig carry their characters straight to where you expected them to be, and Val Kilmer as “the h is silent” villain Von Cunth is awesomely hammy.

It’s not all puppies and sunshine, though—when it’s at its grossest, MacGruber ceases to be funny. Wiig and Forte’s sex scene? Pretty funny, especially as a rip on all those 80s montage sex scenes with slow-mo and candles. Problem is, ghost sex on a grave just isn’t funny, and it’s one of many instances where something that works is taken to a level where it just doesn’t. When it’s good, it’ll make you laugh, but when it’s not, you’ll want your money back.

It's Got: Great cast, WWE cameos, Genuine funnies

It Needs: Lose the ghost sex, People not to expect too much


Not the best or the worst in the checkered family tree of SNL films, its cast gives it a boost, and it really is funny sometimes.