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MacGruber (2010)

Updated on January 13, 2014

MacGruber is kicking a** and bringing comedy back to the SNL sketch movies!

The world is in danger, and there's only one man that can save us all. He's the only man who trained with the Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, Green Berret, and Special Forces during his life time, at least according to the film's storyline. His name is so classified, we don't even know his full name. That's right. I'm talking about MacGruber!

For those who are unfamiliar with this SNL (Saturday Night Live) character, MacGruber is essentially a parody sketch that the show runs to poke fun at the popular MacGuyver series. Although most of his sketches are hardly original to be quite honest. In fact, I would have to put it up there with "Toonces the driving cat" when it comes to originality per sketch. Usually, all of MacGruber's sketches involve him in a small room where he must disarm a bomb. Of course, he asks for normal everyday things like a piece of string, a paper clip, a diamond ring or whatever. Things you basically wouldn't expect to be used to disarm a bomb. Mixed in with a bit of humor as he'll sometimes ask for a guy's wallet and threaten him with a glass bottle, just for the sake of getting some money from the guy while trying to disarm the bomb. Plus, there was even a sketch where he proposed to his grandmother, played by Betty White, while he was in the middle of dismantling a bomb. Needless to say, all the sketches end the same way, as the bomb always goes off no matter what MacGruber does. By now, I'm sure many of you are probably wondering how could they turn something like that into a ninety minute film, as did I. However, "MacGruber" was surprisingly better than I expected.

As it seems since "Coneheads" came out, all SNL movies have been going downhill since. Getting less funny, as each SNL sketch film turns into another cliche ridden comedy that fails to be funny. Don't get me wrong, there have been a few that were decent since then like "Ladies Man" and "Night At the Roxbury", but they were nowhere near the level of quality that the "Wayne's World" series and "Coneheads" set a while back. As much as I loved "Coneheads", I think the reality was that once SNL started to realize that they could flesh out a palatable story with a skit, they started to do that with all sketches turned into live action films. Thus, they started to become watered down cliched comedies with mediocre stories. Forgetting that the main reason why these sketches were made weren't necessarily to tell a good story, but rather to make the audience laugh. After all, who tries to tell a full story in five minutes? As that's the usual running time of an SNL sketch. Yet, it seems Hollywood for the longest time just couldn't understand that. That these sketches weren't made to be great comical stories, but rather to generate a lot of good laughs. As even the production behind "Wayne's World" knew this as they didn't try to create movies that took themselves too seriously. No, they just created movies based on the original sketch that would make people laugh.

However, "MacGruber" seems to understand that. Which is why I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, the story is predictable, but what comedy movie isn't these days? Besides, I just loved the fact that Hollywood finally understands that SNL movies aren't supposed to take themselves too seriously, as they're based off five minute comedy sketches for Pete's sake. No, "MacGruber" may play itself off as a parody of "MacGuyver", but it's really a film of nothing but jokes after jokes that will leave audiences splitting at the sides with laughter. Although the humor can be a raunchy and often controversial with MacGruber often showing a bi-curious side, whenever he offers to do sexual favors in exchange to get what he wants. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but it does generate a lot comical moments in the film. In fact, I loved every minute of this movie, as it was just too funny. Even the villain's motive against MacGruber is hilarious.

For you see, Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer) and MacGruber used to be buddies back in college. Unfortunately, both of them were in love with the same girl, Casey (Maya Rudolph), but she could only marry one of them. And that one lucky guy out of the two was Dieter, or at least he thought. Once Dieter and Casey were engaged, MacGruber had an affair with Casey and stole her away from Dieter on his wedding day. If that wasn't bad enough, she was pregnant with Dieter's love child. However, MacGruber didn't want to put up with the excess baggage and wanted to start fresh with her, so he forced her to get an abortion before their wedding. Pretty messed up I should say. Yet MacGruber still can't figure out why Dieter hates him so much. Gee, can anyone possibly be anymore dense? As you can tell, MacGruber is a bit of a self centered idiot. However, that's part of his charm, as I wouldn't want it any other way.

No, this film isn't meant to tell you a great comedy story like "The Royal Tenenbaums" or "Rushmore", but rather to make you laugh, as this film hardly takes itself too seriously. Nor should it ever, as that's why the sketch was created in the first place. Just to make people like us laugh. Does it succeed? I think so. Although I think this film's comedy might be a bit too controversial and raunchy for some movie goers, but it's definitely worth seeing if your looking for a good laugh.


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    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 6 years ago

      Yeah, I have to agree with you there. I think the problem with SNL sketches is that most of them don't translate well when you bring them to the big screen; which is why I'm always kind of skeptical about it when they do. Oh well, it's like you said, there's always reruns anyway. Thanks for stopping by Stacie. :)

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 6 years ago

      I love MacGruber on SNL but I'm afraid it didn't transfer well as a long feature movie..

      oh well there are SNL reruns.;-)

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      thanks tony. im glad you liked the review. hopefully, you'll love the movie once you see it, just as much. :)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Brilliant. We don't see SNL here in South Africa but I would like to. We did see Magyve though many years ago. These spoofs look great!

      Love and peace


    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      That's true. I can't argue with there as MOST SNL movies tend to usually miss a lot when it comes to appealing to it's audiences. Mostly due to the fact that the writers will often try to create a feasible story content out of sketches that don't translate well onto films usually, as you just said. However, I think what saves "MacGruber" though is that it takes on the "Wayne's World" approach where the film doesn't take itself too seriously. Rather it plays itself off as a parody of spy movies if anything. Which essentially what it is. That's the main reason why I think this movie is probably one of the best SNL movies out there. I know your probably skeptical about it still but if you get a chance to see it in theaters or on T.V., then trust me you won't be disappointed. Anyway, thanks again for stopping by Satomko, and sharing your thoughts with us.

    • satomko profile image

      Seth Tomko 7 years ago from Macon, GA

      Another good review, but as you point out in your hub the ration of hits to misses for comedy sketches turned into movies is in lopsided favor for the misses. I want to be optimistic, but something that seems funny for the run-time of a sketch usually cannot be stretched for an 80 minute feature film.

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 7 years ago

      Thanks 2besure. I appreciate the compliment. However, I haven't accomplished anything yet. I still have about five more hubs to finish before meeting the challenge. However, I appreciate the early compliment, as I hope I can make the deadline before the end of the weekend.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      The episode with Betty White on SNL was hilarious. Thanks for the review. Congrats with the Hub Challenge!