‘MacGruber’ spoofs action genre

Gerald Rich

“Twenty seconds left, MacGruber!” calls the heroine to the mullet-sporting “action hero” curled up in the corner during an existential crisis, waiting for the bomb to explode.

In a parody of the classic television show “MacGyver,” where the main character is able to make any weapon or tool out of household objects, Saturday Night Live’s “MacGruber” adds a more childish humor to create an enjoyable full-length take on the typical Hollywood action flick.

MacGruber, played by Will Forte, is called back into action after his nemesis, Dieter Von Cunth, played by Val Kilmer, steals a nuclear warhead and threatens Washington. Still mourning the death of his wife at the hands of the villain, MacGruber decides to embark on one last mission to get revenge.

He assembles a team of action heroes, only to accidentally blow them up ­— in typical MacGruber fashion — after leaving them in a van carrying the explosives. From there, the movie follows him and his makeshift team through their misguided attempts to capture Cunth.

While MacGruber’s ineptitude is what made the original sketches so funny, fleshing them out into a full-length film is somewhat questionable. The original sketches featured MacGruber stuck in a room, failing miserably to disarm a ticking time bomb.

Couple that fact with the realization that the movie is one big action-movie parody leading up to the scene where MacGruber has to disarm the nuclear warhead, and some might wonder why they even saw this movie.

But despite this flaw, “MacGruber” won’t disappoint SNL fans because the writers were given much more leeway in the film than on the show. One scene even shows Forte hopping around naked in order to distract guards.

The writers also added an element of romance by incorporating MacGruber’s partner Vicki St. Elmo, played by Kristen Wiig. They also got the generally less comedic actor Ryan Phillippe to play MacGruber’s reluctant sidekick.

When asked at the South By Southwest screening why Phillippe, known for his more dramatic roles, decided to do the comedy, the actor simply responded, “Why not?” He seemed generally thrilled to be able to do a comedy for once.

And even though that comedy turned out to be filled with a number of crude jokes and Forte running around the screen naked, by the end of the movie, it’s hard not to simply laugh at how ridiculous it is.

Grade: B