MacGruber (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/06/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 99 mins

MacGruber is patchy, underwritten and frequently lazy but the performances are good and there are enough big laughs here to compensate for its inadequacies.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jorma Taccone, MacGruber is based on a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Will Forte plays a MacGyver-inspired, ‘80s-style action hero, complete with terrible fashion sense, ridiculous blonde mullet and an uncanny ability to fashion explosives and weapons out of ordinary household objects. Believed dead for ten years, MacGruber is pressed into action by Colonel Faith (Powers Boothe) when his arch-nemesis Dieter von Cunth (Val Kilmer) steals a nuclear missile and aims it at Washington.

MacGruber immediately sets about forming a team, eventually winding up with former colleague Vicki St Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Faith's able assistant, Lieutenant Dixon Piper (Ryan Philippe). Together they track down von Cunth, but MacGruber is less interested in foiling the missile plot than he is in revenging himself on Dieter for blowing up his bride-to-be (Maya Rudolph) at their wedding.

The Good
There's a hint of Jean Dujardin's OSS-117 in Forte's performance as MacGruber – as well as looking oddly similar, they have a similar propensity for oblivious bungling coupled with wide-eyed enthusiasm. Wiig is adorable as Vicki St Elmo – her offbeat reactions and line readings (such as singing “That can waaaait”) are often funnier than the broader gags – and there's strong support from Boothe and Philippe (both admirably straight-faced throughout), while Kilmer is a lot of fun as the casually evil von Cunth.

Unfortunately, this is one of those films where most of the really funny gags are in the trailer(s), though there is a hilarious sex scene that's easily one of the funniest scenes of the year.

The Bad
The script is both underwritten and frequently lazy, relying too heavily on cheap sex jokes (and constantly repeating them) instead of putting a bit of effort into the plot and characters – the filmmakers could have learned a lot from the OSS-117 films in this regard. That said, when the film plays to its strengths (spoofing MacGyver, skewering action movie cliches), it's often very funny, which only makes it frustrating that the rest of the film is so lazy.

Worth seeing?
MacGruber is well acted and delivers the occasional belly-laugh but it's neither as funny nor as clever as it should have been.

Film Trailer

MacGruber (15)
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 17:25

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