Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So I walk into the theater to see this film ‘MacGruber’ which we will charitably call an ‘intimate affair’. A brand new movie with a nationwide release and there are a total of three people in the theater with me making four. Let’s call these people who I’ve never met my close personal friends. Near the front of the theater is a young man we will call Creflo, in the center on the left is a couple we will call The Crittendon’s, and in the rear on the right is your man Armstead. Well… the Crittendon’s wouldn’t make it as halfway through they decided they had better things to do with their time than sit through this movie, but me and Creflo made it all the way through. And if I were to judge by Creflo’s laughter, note that it was just me and him so everything he did I could hear with crystal clarity, he liked this movie an awful lot. Me? While I wouldn’t say I liked ‘MacGruber’ a WHOLE LOT, but if the goal of this movie was to make me laugh, then by golly, it did just that.

International arms dealer Dieter Von Cunth, played by former slender superstar Val Kilmer, who was actually pretty funny in this, has just stolen the most lethal nuclear weapon ever and is planning to blow up Washington D.C. Colonel James Faith (Powers Boothe) knows there’s only one man who can bring down Cunth, and that would be funnyman Wil Forte as the terrible mullet sporting MacGruber! But MacGruber, SEAL, Ranger, Green Beret… has been out of commission for ten years, the world believing he died with his fiancé Clara (Mya Rudolph) at the hands of a Cunth helmed explosive device on his wedding day.

At first MacGruber is reticent about getting back in the game, but with the chance to get his long desired revenge he dusts off his Miata and his 80’s soft rock and gets his team of completely lethal badasses together, including the best friend of his dead fiancé, the pantsuit sporting, feathered hair wearing, easy music songwriting

communications specialist Vicki St. Elmo (Kristin Wiig) who respectfully declines. Circumstance however leads to MacGruber’s team unable able to make the trip, Col Faith losing faith in MacGruber’s prowess as a special op which forces MacGruber to assemble a new team which has Vicki jumping and board along with young Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe), who was previously the recipient of an awful lot of MacGruber verbal and physical abuse. I’m just throwing this out, but if anybody out there knows Ryan Phillippe, next you time happen to be at his crib check his attic for portraits.

Now adventure begins as MacGruber and his crew set about tracking down Cunth and his all star team of legendary killers to bring him to justice through whatever means necessary. One of these means would include a piece of celery sticking out ones butt. Maybe ten minutes after this incident the Crittendon’s would exit the theater. If me and Creflo had any class or self-respect we would’ve followed the Crittendon’s out the door and snuck into ‘Robin Hood’ or something, but clearly we do not possess any of those upper crust qualities.

‘MacGruber’ is a good example of why this whole ‘film criticism’ thing is fairly useless endeavor, especially when it comes to comedy. I thought this movie was funny. The Crittendon’s walked out. There are film critics out there who have seen this movie and hate it so much that if Will Forte were to suddenly drop dead, I think they would be happy, but there were times I teared up in laughter at this flick. The point is I have no idea what anybody out there thinks might be funny. I remember watching Gallagher smashing watermelons on Showtime as a teenager  and observing the audience losing themselves in laughter, but if I gave Gallagher a dollar every time he made me laugh I’d still have a pocket of full of dollars. But then there was that cheerleading movie ‘Fired Up’ which was routinely panned and was a miserable failure, like MacGruber will be, and that movie had me in stitches. Whaddayagonnado?

‘MacGruber’ is completely tasteless, violent, profane, inappropriate, and just plain wrong on so many levels. In retrospect, as a business move, maybe SNL and them should’ve toned down some of these offensive elements to maybe attract a wider audience, i.e, children… which might’ve kept folks like the Crittendon’s from walking out in the middle but then it wouldn’t have been nearly as funny.

One last thing, another reason that folks might not go see this movie is due to the obtrusive ‘MacGruber’ pop up that invades web pages. I personally make it point NOT to see movies or buy products that get in my way and prevent me from clicking on wherever I need to go. ‘MacGruber’ is the lone exception because I had planned to see this movie from jump, but I almost let it go because there is nothing I hate more than the popup that gets in my way. Stop this practice.

So like I said, I though it was funny. Four people walked into theater and half of the audience left before the movie was over. Which one would you be? I’m guessing the majority of folks are going to wait for the DVD to find out.

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