Film & TV

Movie ‘MacGruber’ is an immature, tasteless comedy

There are comedies that bring together different age groups and preferences, uniquely blending together jokes that almost everyone finds funny. These films seek a common ground that breaks down generational walls and unite everyone in ubiquitous laughter.

“MacGruber” has absolutely none of these qualities. 

That’s not to say the movie itself is bad, but it caters to a narrowly tailored demographic. Mixing profane language with over-the-top gore, “MacGruber” strikes a chord with high school and college-aged people and the occasional immature middle-aged adult. 

The film itself is an expansion of a 90-second “Saturday Night Live” skit that parodies the action show “MacGyver.” Each installment of the skit involves the mysterious MacGruber (Will Forte) who is forced to diffuse a bomb using only household items. With a number of lingering personal problems, the mentally frail MacGruber can never diffuse the bomb and instead loses a pieces of his dignity while trying.

In the movie, the viewer joins the same MacGruber who has been living isolated in a small town in Mexico for the past 10 years. MacGruber is approached by his old friend Col. Faith, who informs him that his old nemesis Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) has just stolen a nuclear missile and intends to use it against the United States. MacGruber, seeking revenge for Cunth killing his wife, agrees to track him down.

Although all of this sounds like a plot from a legitimate action movie, the seriousness is disregarded almost instantly when MacGruber announces, “It’s time to go pound some Cunth,” with the H in Cunth almost impossible to hear. From there MacGruber is, well, classic homophobic, slightly racist, confused MacGruber. Leading his far-from-intimidating team of Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe), MacGruber concocts an ill-conceived, planless plan to take down Cunth. 

Not wanting to ruin any of the film’s later absurdities, the synopsis stops here. It is important to emphasize that from start to finish MacGruber never lets up with its over-the-top brand of comedy.

Despite the movie’s ridiculous humor, Forte seems very comfortable with the character of MacGruber, swearing in every sentence, ripping out throats and for some reason taking his pants off more than a handful of times. First-time director Jorma Taccone (most famously the other guy in the SNL Digital Short “Jizz in My Pants”) also deserves recognition for expanding the skit into a feature length film while avoiding disasters like “Superstar,” “Coneheads” and “It’s Pat.”

The film is not for everybody, but if you find it funny when someone says, “To get that warhead back, I’ll suck as many dicks as I have to,” then MacGruber is
your man.

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