Saturday, May 22, 2010

You think I would have learned by now....

... to wait until any movie based on "Saturday Night Live" skits--which are usually more often than not miserable failures--can be rented dirt-cheap. Because this is another stinker.

MacGruber (2010)
Starring: Will Forte, Ryan Phillipe, Kristen Wiig, Powers Boothe and Val Kilmer
Director: Jorma Taccone
Rating: One of Ten Stars

Ex-special operative MacGruber (Forte) is called back into action when the man who murdered his wife, Dieter Von Cunth (Kilmer), steals a nuclear warhead in order to destroy Washington, D.C.

"MacGruber" is another failed attempt to stretch a character that could barely support two minute sketches into a full-blown movie. The jokes and comedy bits are painfully unfunny and they're performed by actors so uncharismatic that it's surprising they are veterans of the "Saturday Night Live" series, and the script is an utter failure as a both a spoof of "MacGyver" and 1980s-style action flicks. It is such a failure that one one wonders if the writers even bothered to watch an episode of "MacGyver" It feels more like someone tried to write a spoof based on an idea of what that television series was like instead of the series itself. And the action movie spoof was so lame it made me wish I had spent the morning watching Steven Seagal's "Belly of the Beast," as I would have saved both time and money by staying home instead of going to the movie theater.

Don't make the mistake I did. There is very little in this film that is worth your time and absolutely nothing that's worth the price of admission at the theater. The only laughs you'll have are during the scenes where MacGruber confronts Van Cunth, and even those scenes are less enjoyable than they might be because Val Kilmer--a talented screen actor--outshines Will Forte to a degree that makes you almost feel embarrassed.

(On a purely technical note, it was mildly troubling to see that computer-generated blood-spatter has made it into big-screen productions now. It's one thing for filmmakers like Charles Band and Len Kabasinski to use CGI instead of blank rounds and squibs when it comes to gunplay, given that they make direct-to-DVD films with budgets that are a sliver of what "MacGruber" was made for, but movies like this really should stick with the old-fashioned, more convincing-looking methods... even if the actors have to be paid $5,000-$10,000 less.)

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