MacGruber (2010)

I’m still not sure if it was a large bid of admirable faith or mind numbing stupidity for Lorne Michaels to fuel an adult comedy based around a Saturday Night Live sketch that barely anyone is familiar with on a show no one really talks about anymore, based around spoofing an old 80’s television show that stopped being relevant ages ago. “MacGruber” is a film that is about eighty minutes too long, an endless barrage of ridiculous and droning attempts at comedy that fails on every single conceivable level.

It’s a film that over stays its welcome well in to its first fifteen minutes and does nothing but spout off satirical one-liners that drop like flat basketballs at every turn, and rely on self-aware humor where it’s considered comedy gold if we have to know that they know that we know that they know we’re watching a comedy movie. Lorne Michaels and co. reach for “Austin Powers” gold fueled on the eighties fetishizing rather than sixties gags, and they fail with extreme prejudice. The movie is so inept star Will Forte can barely deliver a line of dialogue without sounding stilted and often as if he’s spouting the one-liners based on memory and not committing to the scenes. This is pointed out in the first half as merely mimicking the goofy action heroes of the eighties decade, but after a while it becomes quite apparent the man just doesn’t know how to deliver a convincing line of dialogue.

The character of MacGruber is merely just another launch off from the cliche action hero while borrowing heavily from the character mold of Austin Powers, where their ineptitude is often mistaken for stupidity. And their deadpan sidekicks and foils are usually shown they’re more than capable agents in their fields in spite of their methods. And throughout the grueling ninety minute run time, this shtick is repeated over and over ad nauseum, while jokes that work on mere occasions, are doled out as frequently as the writers can manage without testing the patience of their audience. As for folks like Ryan Phillipe and Powers Boothe, they look bored half the time playing second banana to a barely talented Will Forte whose own sense of bravado is as forced as his comic shtick.

If he even has one. Val Kilmer looks as if he’s lost all hope, especially when carrying dialogue better than Forte hopes to. The rest of the film is centered around sight gags that are dead on arrival and the implementing of heavy eighties soundtrack that is supposed to be some form of comedy, I’m assuming. I never quite understood why during a sight gag we heard eighties music blasting over the soundtrack. Most times I wasn’t even sure if this film was set in the eighties, or if Macgruber was simply a man stuck in the eighties. If the latter, then it only further proves my point that he’s merely a derivation and flat out plagiarism of Austin Powers.

Sans the laughs. And genius. And creativity. And originality. Oh look, they’re over explaining another joke! Bereft of any kind of laughs or remote giggles when not blatantly ripping off the Austin Powers mold, “MacGruber” is a slapstick piece of swill that relies on ham fisted comedic performances delivering a half baked script, that does nothing to fuel the common thought that Saturday Night Live is a relic well out of its grasp of actual comedy. When the entire film’s laugh quotient is dependent on the fact that the villain’s name sounds like cunt, it’s a surefire bet someone pissed away a lot of money on a go nowhere production.