Growing up certain TV shows became regular Saturday night viewing; from "Knight Rider" to "The A-Team" they formed part of my childhood as did the creative "MacGyver". Now I really liked "MacGyver" but looking back I can see how it would be the perfect basis for a spoof movie in the same manner as "Hot Shots" but unfortunately "MacGruber" is not that movie. Inspired by a SNL skit "MacGruber" admittedly parodies "MacGyver" and many key 80s elements such as soft rock, bad hair and saxophone infused soundtracks but it is not funny and rarely clever. The trouble is that "MacGruber" whilst taking the mickey out of things relies on swearing to be funny, not clever swearing just swearing and it makes it moronic. Admittedly I would have probably found all the swearing funny if I was 20 years younger but as a 40 year old it just didn't work.
When it comes to plot well "MacGruber" gives us a cross over of "Rambo" and "James Bond" as we have the evil Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) stealing a nuclear missile forcing the American military to try and persuade MacGruber (Will Forte) to come out of retirement, although officially he is dead. With Cunth being the man who killed MacGruber's wife on their wedding day it leads him to leave the monastery and put a team together, well two because he accidentally killed his first team. Anyway from there not a lot happens as MacGruber goes after Cunth, flirts with Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and annoys Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) with his moronic ways of doing things.
To say I am disappointed by "MacGruber" would be an understatement, in fairness I have never seen one of the SNL skits it spawned from but as I said the old "MacGyver" series was ripe to be spoofed. Unfortunately what I call humour rarely shows up as instead we get what seems to be a desperate reliance on swearing and moronic gags such as celery sticking out of MacGruber's butt to distract the enemy. For a comedy I barely found myself laughing and most of the times I broke a smile was more to do with a general parody of the 80s such as MacGruber driving along to soft rock rather than for any of the jokes based on what happens.
Now the irony of this is that whilst "MacGruber" doesn't have much of a storyline it is well put to together. The general spoofing of old TV shows and movies such as a sex scene which starts with a typical romantic theme as a hand clenches the sheets in ecstasy is funny. But then the joke is dragged out to beyond being funny and then ends up with a moronic gag which ruined the initial fun. It does feel more like "MacGruber" is a comedy made for those who find random and often swearing funny rather than for those who like spoof movies full of clever humour.
As for the performances well Will Forte certainly doesn't hold back when it comes to trying to have fun with MacGruber and for me his energy and willingness to act a complete prat partly saves the movie because any sign of self consciousness would have been a disaster. Unfortunately Forte ends up being the only good thing when it comes to the performances and the rest of the cast which includes Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer, Kristen Wiig, Powers Boothe and a handful of faces from the world of wrestling fail to impress or amuse.
What this all boils down to is that "MacGruber" ended up being an unfunny disappointment which didn't do justice to the potential for fun from spoofing "MacGyver". But I am sure those younger than myself who still find swearing hilarious will probably be a lot more entertained.