Saturday Night Live is releasing its latest sketch-turned-film this weekend: MacGruber. If you can deal with heaps of low-brow humor, it'll leave you in absolute hysterics. If dick jokes aren't for you, turn away now.
MacGruber was written by SNL writer John Solomon, MacGruber himself - Will Forte - and director Jorma Taccone. You may remember Taccone as the actor who portrayed Chaka in Land of the Lost. But more importantly, Taccone is part of the SNL Digital Short brain trust that made a hit song about jizzing in your pants. So, there really shouldn't be any sort of question as to what type of humor this film is shooting for.
Based on the SNL skit of the same name MacGruber is an in-your-face parody of the Richard Dean Anderson TV series MacGyver. But the spoofy hero barely has time to make clever bombs out of tape and paper clips - he's too busy shoving celery up his ass. Val Kilmer plays international terrorist Dieter Von Cunth, with a deep hatred for MacGruber, and a giant nuclear warhead. When the government is made aware of Cunth's plans, they bring MacGruber out of retirement, mullet and khaki fishing vest in tow, to save the day. MacGruber is joined by his old teammate Vicki St. Elmo, played by Kristen Wiig, and new guy Lt. Dixon Piper, Ryan Phillippe.
If you don't like obscene body humor this film is not for you. If you don't like long, drawn-out sex scenes, gratuitous explosions or swearing, please, don't go see MacGruber. And as long as you know that going in you should enjoy yourself.
75% of the Jokes In MacGruber Will Make You Laugh So Hard It Hurts
MacGruber is a great example of the new type of humor SNL has been tinkering with since they brought the Lonely Island comedy crew on board. If a joke's not particularly funny right away, just beat it into the audience's head until it eventually lampoons itself. For example, every single time MacGruber steps out of his crappy Mazada Miata, he obsessively pops out his prized stereo like a tiny little man purse. Upon the 1,000th time this happens it's so ridiculous it left me on a hysterical heap on the theater floor. And that's just a side joke.
Besides MacGruber's rampantly repetitive humor, plenty of the one-liners spewed from the anti-hero are spot on. See, MacGruber is not your regular bumbling buffoon turned hero, the guys a prick. But, for most of the film, this really works. No other hero could get away with snarking to Kilmer's date, "I hope you enjoy being date raped, ma'am," only to have Kilmer retort back that this was his daughter.
Making MacGruber a total dick also allows the hero to wallow in some of the most obscene humor I've seen in a long time. I may never get rid of the image of Grubes offering fellatio to Phillipe through tears screaming "I don't know what I'm doing" in hopes of getting back on the team. And it was this attitude that opened the door to one of the funniest sex scenes I've ever had the horror of witnessing. In spite of my better judgment, I laughed while shame filled tears ran down my face.
The Highest Form of 80s Action Movie Lampooning That I've Seen In A Long Time
Connoisseurs of fine 80s actions films, this is your moment. If you're a fan of Rad, Rambo III or any Steven Seagal film this movie will leave you in absolute ruins. Macgruber is overflowing with countless nods to this class of film. Just about every room in MacGruber is filled with fog for that "glittery soft angle" touch I'd forgotten even existed. Take a listen during any giant explosion and you'll hear the "cougar scream" sound effect that accompanied so many past explosions, and my god the music...
The second MacGruber walked into a swanky party sporting a cream suit to Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight," Mazada Miata radio in hand, I immediately fell in love with this soundtrack. You can tell the writers and director painfully poured over each tune picking out only the shittiest of awesome 80s music. I've already purchased the entire album with tunes like Toto's "Rosanna," Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings," Gerry Raferty's wailing sax tune "Baker Street," I was powerless to its slow jazz appeal. The soundtrack compliments the movie perfectly and creates laughs all on its own.
The 25% of the Jokes That Fail, Fail Hard
When a movie dives head first into a pool of filth, you're going to be swimming in a lot of crap. Kristen Wiig is sadly part of most of these jokes, and like her SNL skits they are very hit or miss. It would be nice to see Wiig play something different for a change, but alas it's same old, same old from her.
Also many of the jokes tended to drag on in the middle of the film, like the plot. After a while, you get the sense that no one really knew what they how they were going to end this thing, so it's just shoe-horned moment after shoehorned moment. Not even the delightful self referential quips from earlier could speed up the slow, unfunny second act. By an hour in, MacGruber was really undoing all the funny it set up in the beginning.
MacGruber Is Such A "Piece of Shit"
As we mentioned before, MacGruber is a dick. Forte and Taccone have stated that is was always their intention to make the Grubester a "piece of shit." And they really succeed. While his ridiculous attitude works to further the some of the plot mishaps as well as build tension between MacGruber and Phillipe's character, after awhile you just get a little annoyed with the so-called hero. Sure he has a small bit of redemption in the end, but he's still such a giant "piece of shit" through most of the film, that it became hard to root for his success of such an obvious and intentionally flawed character.
In conclusion, I strongly urge Digital Short SNL fans, low-brow humor enthusiasts, and those of you who want to be in on the next round of retold movie lines at the local watering hole to see this film. It's a highly quotable piece of work, which means it's not going away anytime soon, sorry. I fully expect to see KFBR392 scrolled on back doors of bathroom stalls in about two to three weeks. That being said, know what you're getting into The Hangover it is not. But it's absolutely good for a few laughs.