The traditional action comedy belongs to the mid 80s which spilled over the top in late 90s. The action era spanned with some glorious entertainment and produced classics out of it few of the times. Then it pushed its luck too far to bring up disaster after disaster in pairing up great actors and fizzling into set patterns of boring jokes and cruise control plots. Couple of years ago Edgar Wright did something special with this genre by both spoofing and homaging it in a single event called “Hot Fuzz”. The genre has invited many spoofs and got it marginally right or terribly wrong. “MacGruber” falls in the former.
Val Kilmer surprises me even more than Nicolas Cage in his choices. He can do terrific acting and take risks like no other actors. Then he plunges out of the radar for couple of years in straight to DVD pictures and then gets to play a spoof villain in this comedy flick? He is Dieter Von Cunth, the arch enemy of this bad hair douche bag MacGruber. Val Kilmer’s character has only one use in the film for his surname used as the punch line for several references MacGruber uses.
I have to say there are stupidly hilarious moments where you are in disbelief of what just happened. One instance will be the involvement of a celery from a garbage can and the another involving MacGruber’s best stunt skills of ripping throats with bare hands. In both instances we are befuddled by the actions on the screen yet cannot help ourselves from laughing. The human mind’s funny bone sometimes is seriously twisted and jumps up from the dark now and then.
These recent times of comedy films will make itself in film history when they pushed their limits in explicit content and manage to emerge victorious in the laugh factory. Director Jorma Tacone’s “MacGruber” will become as reference for that time. It will no way be a cult but will become an image in the montage that will be prepared to show case this era.
Will Forte does some crazy things and he is a darn good in delivering straight faced dialogues which are pure and simple disgusting dumb things. MacGruber is told to be the deadliest force and legend along with several unusual credentials. His instincts are to save himself and always dresses Piper or Vicki as himself. Yet he jumps right ahead to take throats off. He is peculiar and that becomes the leverage for rambunctious moments for laughter.
Ryan Phillipe and Kristen Wiig do their best to support this weirdo. In spoof films with idolized undeserving heroes, their mistakes will result in unexpected heroic actions and there will be no one around them to clearly see through it or generally the film does not allow it. One good thing about “MacGruber” is the character of Ryan Phillipe’s Piper who time and again wrestles with full power with the man and knows the dangerous fool for what he is. Kristen Wiig’s Vicki is plainly adorable and a loyal teammate keeping the ego of the man to sky high.
The film goes far and far into the realm of foolish comedy and emerges half successful. The plot in these films are nothing but tag points and it is no wonder it does not hope to satiate that part of the movie making process. Hence it becomes a series of good SNL sketches and never attains to be a complete film. We witness the extent at which this guy will go in embarrassing himself in unexplainable and unpredictable way. I got through the film but it does not add up to become a fulfilling experience.