Blu-Ray Review: Ridiculous ‘MacGruber’ Wears Out Repetitive Routine

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CHICAGO – Is anyone surprised that a 20-second sketch from “Saturday Night Live” literally comes apart at the seams when it’s stretched into a feature film? Wouldn’t you have been more surprised if “MacGruber,” recently released on DVD and Blu-ray, had actually worked?

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0

It’s undeniably bad but I didn’t find “MacGruber” nearly as abrasive as many critics, including our esteemed Patrick McDonald, who absolutely loathed the comic venture starring Will Forte, Kristin Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, and Val Kilmer. While I can see why some critics wished they could head for the exits before the end of the press screening, there’s enough go-for-broke chutzpah on display in “MacGruber” that I can almost admire the attempt to make this impossible project come together. Don’t get me wrong. I would never recommend this broken comedy but it’s not as horrible as you’ve heard.

MacGruber was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7th, 2010
MacGruber was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7th, 2010
Photo credit: Universal

Forte stars as the title character in this spoof of “MacGyver” heroics that’s not too dissimilar from the wacky hijinks of even-broader comedies like “Hot Shots!” and “Naked Gun.” MacGruber has been assumed dead for a decade but is brought back into action when his nemesis, Dieter VonCunth (Val Kilmer), tries to hijack a super-weapon for world domination. Teaming with allies new (Phillippe) and old (Wiig), MacGruber comes from the classic archetype of comedy heroes that basically stumble their way into saving the day.

No one can deny Forte’s willingness to do whatever he thinks it takes to get a laugh. Very few performers would film a scene with a celery stalk up their ass much less actually go to that well more than once in the same film. Despite Forte’s greatest efforts, the script he co-wrote with director Jorma Taccone and John Solomon is an absolute mess. As if they knew they only had an hour of material, they repeat nearly every joke in the film more than once, even the shockingly unfunny ones. “MacGruber” hails from that category of comedy that moves so fast that if you don’t like a joke, it’s mere seconds before another one comes along, but this time the one you didn’t like is coming back again. And again. And again.

“MacGruber” was one of the more notable bombs of summer 2010, failing to break $10 million in its entire domestic run and being absolutely destroyed by critics. In the history of movies based on “SNL” characters, “MacGruber” will be one of the most notoriously ridiculed. Is it THAT bad? Not really, but it’s certainly not good either. To me, it’s more forgettable than anything, except perhaps for breaking new boundaries in celery usage.

Special Features:
o Deleted Scene
o Gage Reel
o Feature Commentary with Cast and Crew
o BD-Live
o Pocket Blu

“MacGruber” stars Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Val Kilmer, Ryan Phillippe, Powers Boothe, and Maya Rudolph. It was written by Forte & John Solomon & Jorma Taccone and directed by Taccone. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7th, 2010 and is not rated and rated R.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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