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MacGruber
(2010)

 

I feel sorry for most of the people involved in this awful piece of crap. I feel sorry for puffy Val Kilmer; even he, with his indiscriminate workload, shouldn’t have to suffer like this. I feel sorry for Kristen Wiig, who is a genuinely funny, talented comedienne. She’s forced to grin and bear it. I even feel (just a little) sorry for Ryan Phillipe, just because no one deserves this. But I don’t feel sorry for Will Forte. He’s one of those Saturday Night Live funny men who somehow never stops working, yet never succeeds in making anyone crack a smile.

SNL movies are generally terrible, but this one reaches new lows. It’s not the surfeit of poo/cock/fucking gags; it’s the reverberating sound of comedic incontinence. Forte thinks the height of chuckleworthiness is calling the master villain Cunth. Rather than his singular stick of celery, Forte appears to have pulled the entire script from his arse. Co-writer and director Jorma Taccone might be accused for having no eye for staging a joke and zero understanding of comic timing if he had anything decent to work with in the first place. This plays like Hot Shots Part Deux written and performed by Uwe Boll.

The same unfunny SNL MacGyver skit is stretched without variation over ninety desolate minutes. Even a lifeless comedy can retain something if the star is a natural comedian (Will Ferrell) or has deadpan charm (Leslie Nielsen) but Forte is ragingly devoid of comic abilities. We’ve seen the hapless professional incompetent so many times before that it requires someone special to make an impact; Forte is certainly special, in that his talents are entirely inimical to locating the funny bone. What compelled Alexander Payne to cast him opposite Bruce Dern in the forthcoming Nebraska? I can only guess that is he is a more talented straight actor than he is a comedy one. It’s inconceivable that he could be worse.

The entire movie is as much fun as being interred beneath a mound of Forte’s much-vaunted faeces. The comedy rings out with all the lustre of a tuneless violin. There’s a half-decent sight gag concerning MacGruber’s obsession with a car number plate, but mostly it’s on the level of Kilmer’s villain laughing over the loss of his own genitals because it means MacGruber won’t be able to tear them off and force feed them to him. Wiig looks like strangely like Alexander Skarsgaard in a blonde wig and beard. The whole thing is just shockingly bad.

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