Published May 20, 2010The SNL character who can never diffuse the bomb in time is fleshed out to a feature-length degree of douchery. He likes soft rock, plays the sax when he feels like it and makes assertions like, "that's tits" or "shut yer butt."
It gets off to a slow start, with an uneven blend of straight-laced exposition and heavy-handed farce, and doesn't find its voice until a quarter of the way in, but all is forgiven once the smuttiest jokes since Borat start to come fast and furious. More than bomb diffusion, the penetration of MacGruber's anus seems to be his ultimate forte. Speaking of Forte, it's about time the eccentric Will Forte got a juicy lead role that allows him to bug out in all his oddball glory.
Val Kilmer barely exists as the villain; his performance feels like a cheap walk-on you'd expect to see in Austin Powers Part Seven. The Big Show, Chris Jericho and several WWE superstars form MacGruber's A-Team style backup until they are abruptly killed in the first act. This is for the best. Big Show is good for a laugh, but any movie that depends on wrestlers as actors is doomed to imminent failure. The capable Ryan Phillippe and Kristen Wiig step in as ideal comic counterpoints to MacGruber's unflinching scatological deviancy.
MacGruber isn't as good as classic SNL comedies like Wayne's World or Tommy Boy (those movies had heart), but it's not far behind, and is far better than A Night at the Roxbury or other poorly conceived cash-grabs from Lorne Michaels. Ideal for a light-hearted, raunchy time at the movies. (Alliance)