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Thursday, 5 May 2011

Review: MacGruber (15) ★★
Ex-special operative MacGruber is called back into action to take down his archenemy, Dieter Von Cunth, who's in possession of a nuclear warhead and bent on destroying Washington, D.C.

With comedy comes a fine line. Get it right and you hit the mark but get it wrong and you lose your entire audience.
Comedy can only ever be funny or not. If you don't laugh then it's not funny, if you do it is. Can't be much more to it than that yet a lot of films struggle with this concept.

MacGruber's comedy is the simple kind, swear a lot, be crude, insert vegetables into bumhole. It's simplistic comedy that can be created by anyone really. If your struggling through in a Fuck somewhere and you'll raise a titter. Really struggling? get someone to drop their trousers. Really, Really struggling? perform some outrageous stunt to reel them back in again. There's your movie and to hell with plot and the script.

The main problem I have with MacGruber is that its made up of lots of different movies you've already seen done to death. The MacGyver angle is lampooned in The Simpsons frequently and every other comedy sketch out there. The bumbling, useless hero again is a staple character. Even the first ten minutes or so is a direct rip off of Hot Shots Part Deux, and I mean almost shot for shot, but without the humour.

It's a shame too to see actors like Ryan Phillipe (who on his day is a good solid actor), Kirsten Wiig and Val Kilmer relegated to this fair. Take one of the last scenes when Phillipe has to insert aforementioned vegetable into aforementioned never regions and you can visibly see how embarrassed he his to be there. Kilmer at least tries but at times just looks plain angry to be appearing in the damn thing. You wonder how much of his villain is acted and what is actually real rage.

Then there's the lead, Will Forte. He's obviously having the time of his life probably still wondering how he managed to get his five minute SNL skit into a full blown movie. He puts it all into MacGruber but since the character is so irritating you just end up wanting him to actually blow himself up and let the credits roll.

The plot doesn't help anyone either. Bit stories are led on for ages then go nowhere (why the hell was the licence plate gag built up so much then disgarded so quickly?!). It's at times a frustration to watch as you can see that there's a little potential there but little ever comes of it, just another foul mouthed rant and offer of sexual favours.

But here's the surprise, half way through you get your first, and only I might add, belly laugh. An hilarious couple of sex scenes that did have me laughing out loud (I'm officially retiring the LOL abbreviation now for the good of the land). To give you an idea, take all the glossy Hollywood sex scenes, remove the ultra smooth music and replace with real life grunts. Very clever and should have been built on.

It's the funny sex scenes that raised this movie above the dreaded one star review rating I thought it was going to get but make no bones about it, MacGruber has two scenes that are funny and countless that aren't.


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