CATEGORIES ReviewsComing over from the States is MacGruber, an action comedy about a hapless ex-Green Beret out for revenge. Dieter Von Cunth (played by Val Kilmer, if you find that character's name hilarious skip this review and head straight to the cinema, this one's for you) has stolen a nuclear warhead, the only man able to stop him is MacGruber (Will Forte), an all American here who comes out of hiding to defeat his nemesis.
But is it any good? Keep reading to find out what we thought... MacGruber (15)
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer,
Director: Jorma Taccone
The plot: Dieter Von Cunth (played by Val Kilmer, oh, and if you find that character's name hilarious, skip this review and head straight to the cinema, this one's for you) has stolen a nuclear warhead, the only man able to stop him is MacGruber (Will Forte), an ex-Green Beret who has been in hiding for the last ten years after Cunth killed his wife at their wedding.
Background: Three main problems face this film when it opens outside the US, number one is that its based on a Saturday Night Live sketch most of us in Britain won't have seen. Secondly, it's a spoof of American TV show MacGuyver which will be more familiar to most of us as 'that show The Simpsons occasionally makes fun of' but is in fact an American show from the 80s. This brings us to the third problem that people old enough to be nostalgic about MacGuyver will be too old to enjoy the adolescent toilet humour of MacGruber and people young enough to enjoy that a) won't know about MacGuyver and b) probably wont be allowed to see it anyway because of the graphic violence.
What's good about it? Kristen Wiig as Vicki St. Elmo steals the whole film and is the most consistently funny character. There's a great scene where she's receiving orders through an ear piece whilst trying to buy a coffee which she absolutely nails. Forte clearly relishes playing MacGruber and does ring some good laughs from the character, the only problem is most of the time MacGruber is so odious we don't want to spend any time with him.
What's not so good? The MacGruber sketches were some of the shortest on SNL and stretching them to film length doesn't always work. The film is also very uneven in tone and plot, Vicki and MacGruber go from being a nervous wreck and a useless joke, to a round-house, kick-ass bad girl and a throat-ripping, badass respectively. And the very bloody violence sits uneasily next to the comedy. Ryan Philippe and Val Kilmer mostly just look embarrassed to be there. In Kilmer's case he looks both embarrassed and bloated having gained a huge amount of weight whilst simultaneously losing the ability to deliver witty dialogue which he displayed so well in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang all those years ago.
Verdict: Hard to see who is going to watch this, harder to know who is going to actually enjoy it. Sporadic laughs and a good turn by Wiig don't make up for the large gaps in logic and laughs.