Is “MacGruber” the best big-screen adaptation of a “Saturday Night Live” skit that spoofs a 1980s adventure series?
Hmm…good question. Let’s think about that.
Let me say first of all that without a doubt “MacGruber” is a bad, bad, bad movie. The film is a spoof in the way that it gets in a few cursory (and mostly unfunny) jabs at That Richard Dean Anderson Show to give the film some padding for the endless array of poop and semen gags it throws at us.
And there are plenty: calling “MacGruber” “dirty” is like saying James Cameron is “fond of special effects,” or Mickey Rourke is “a little odd.” There are two consecutive sex scenes that end with a man loudly…um, completing the transaction (one of those with a ghost), two characters have vegetables inserted into their rectums, and…do I need to continue?
Anyway, there is some framework from the original “Saturday Night Live” sketch, in that MacGruber is an adventure hero who is fond of his mullet and his poofy tan vest and flannel shirt and has a knack for making kind of working tools out of random items.
This gimmick is used once in the film, for those counting, though it’s brought up several times.
Now, having said all of that, did I laugh during “MacGruber”? Yes, I’m sad to say I did, but not in a “man, that’s clever” kind of way, but more of a “I can’t believe they are actually showing this to a live audience” kind of way.
Will Forte is less than engaging as the lead, hardly the strongest leading man who’s ever been employed by Lorne Michaels, but whatever. He is what he is, and even if that isn’t much, it’s at least something. Sort of.
Kristen Wiig can be a very funny person, but here she is reduced to reacting to Forte’s obnoxiousness, as does a really out-of-place Ryan Phillipe.
As the villain, Val Kilmer is hard to peg. In a way he’s hamming it up, but in a really restrained kind of way that I’m still trying to decide on just how brilliant it is or is not. One thing is for sure: he hasn’t exactly been laying off the donuts, and coming from me, that’s saying something.
There’s also a bevy of baffling cameos from WWE wrestlers Chris Jericho, The Great Khali, Mark Henry, MVP, Kane, and The Big Show who are a highlight in their brief time onscreen.
Again, I did laugh during “MacGruber,” and if that is enough stimuli for you during a movie, then I suppose I’d recommend you see it.
But back to our question: is MacGruber the best big-screen version of an “SNL” spoof skit of an ’80s adventure series?
I gotta say no. As for which is, I’ll tell you when they make it.