MacGyver is a series from the 80’s staring Richard Dean Anderson. The show focused on the adventures of a special agent who could shimmy together any combo of household items and create a scientific weapon or resolution without ever carrying a gun. I don’t remember much from of this show, except the spectacular “feathery” blonde mullet, the 80’s bad guy cliche’s, and one particular scene where a man fell into a river of red ants and was eaten to the bone. I was apparently traumatized by this scene, as this very day my backyard and woods is riddled with ant bait that promises to “kill the queen”.
“Great kids movie… Even though dad just shit his pants with fear”
MacGruber is a Saturday Night Live skit starring Will Forte, written as a spoof off the MacGyver series. Sporting the same mullet and 80’s outfit, MacGruber attempts to save the day using the same odd combination of items as MacGyver. The punchline is that MacGruber constantly fails and everyone dies in a massive explosion at the end of every skit. The skits were signature SNL by running a solid joke into the ground by making it 4 minutes longer than it should have been. Then one day out of left field, they decided to surprise the world and make a 90 minute movie based on the skit. The result was surprisingly funny. In fact, the premise of a feature length movie of this skit is the film’s first joke.
In MacGruber, Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) has stolen an “X5” nuclear missile and the only man who can stop him is MacGruber (Forte) and his team (Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe). Blinded by his hatred for the dirty Cunth for killing his wife on their wedding day with a bible bomb, MacGruber’s biggest hindrance to a successful mission is his own inflated ego and cluelessness.
“I don’t have any lubricant, but we can use some white out or copy toner.”
As you can see, this movie does not take itself seriously. Knowing that the film would not be reviewed or even received well, the movie was set up to fail from the very start, and they ran with that… making it all the more funny.
MacGruber is an over the top, out of touch, action hero. Part of the fun of this movie is that everyone else in the movie has a “realistic” (using that word loosely here) reaction to his insanity, just as anyone would interacting with a real life MacGruber. Everyone that is, except his sidekick Kristen Wiig… At least, I think so? Maybe this is actually her realistic interpretation. Something about her confuses me, and don’t get me wrong she is a very funny, occasionally do-able, woman.
There’s just a vibe that she is this peculiar in reality. It seems her agent always calls saying, “Okay Kristen, we have another role for you. They want you to be the same weirdo that you were in the last movie, and they will just give you a different name and an eyepatch.” Or maybe she isn’t acting and this is just her talking casually with the cast, like they don’t even tell her the cameras are rolling. Regardless, she is a perfect compliment to Will Forte in this film, and together they are on a completely different page from the rest of the world.
The soundtrack is rampant with 80’s tracks you despised back in the day from overexposure. In the context of the movie the music stirs a certain nostalgia that fits every scene.
Yet another missed opportunity for JEM’s comeback tour
In true SNL fashion, they run many jokes over and over until they would annoy an otherwise sensible person. But, in this they somehow worked. I found myself laughing at the continuity of the car stereo joke that the runs from the first scene to the last. For some reason, we just don’t get reminded of the car stereo theft epidemic in the 80’s and 90’s anymore. I suppose the police must have finally caught onto the trend of guys strolling into pawn shops bleeding from the knuckles with 3 “out of the box” car stereos.
With car stereos no longer a commodity on the black market, thieves are forced to adapt.
X5 missile? IS there really such thing? I only ask because The Rock has a V-X5 rocket as well, and it almost cost Mr. Henderson his head. Why is every missile an X5 in Hollywood? Should we all start to worry about X5 in real life? A1 is just a steak sauce, how did the “alphabet” code go from steak sauce to deadly missile? K12 is education, V8 vegetable juice, R2 is not the droids you’re looking for, and you’ve just sunk my battleship.
And just like every other movie involving a nuclear crisis, there is a scramble for the “pass codes.” Is it too much to ask for something more original than nuclear pass codes? I used to cut measly purchase orders all day and I was required to change my pass code every 14 days, wouldn’t you think the people that make nuclear warheads would come up with something a bit more secure than a briefcase handcuffed to a guy in a suit that can enable anyone access to control a missile?
I really do like Val Kilmer. Iceman, Jim Morrison, Doc Holliday, even the Ashley Judd abusing cokehead in HEAT. He seems like a genuinely likable actor. His involvement in this film shows that he is not afraid to laugh at himself. It was just so surprising to see the Iceman with a head that now resembles a perfect circle. Is there a store in California that him and Luke Wilson just window shopped one day and bought brand new fat faces? I saw him a couple months ago and asked for his autograph. He ignored me, so I blogged about what a DBag he was that night… Only to find the next morning it wasn’t even him, it was just a snowman!
“I’m your huckleberry”
I (like most people) had no plans to see this movie. Primarily because the one dimensional MacGruber character from SNL gets annoying in the skits, but I was pleasantly surprised with everything Will Forte adds to the character to make MacGruber enjoyable and funny throughout the entire movie. It might not blow your pants off and have you dying with laughter, but as far as “spoof” movies go, this is a great action hero satire movie and is well worth a watch for some memorable funny scenes.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time MacGruber removes his car stereo
Take a Drink: every time MacGruber carries his car stereo
Take a Drink: for every cheesy action movie cliche
Take a Drink: every time MacGruber talks about “ripping throats” (Bonus Shot: everytime he does it).
Down a Shot: every time MacGruber offers a BJ to get what he wants
Down a Shot: every time someone sticks celery in their ass