I think I had been a little afraid to see MacGruber. Even though all of my instincts told me it would be funny (based on the cast and crew alone), I was still afraid it wasn’t, I guess based on the reception it got when it first opened. But a lot of people also hate Hot Rod, and I love Hot Rod, and MacGruber was made by a lot of the same people as Hot Rod, and that should have been enough for me.
MacGruber is not perfect but it’s insanely funny. It knows how to hold onto jokes and when to let them go. It’s enough of a parody of action movies (and obviously MacGyver) to be recognizable, but also constructs its own weird world and jokes. Will Forte plays MacGruber, who never goes by another name. He’s after Dieter Von Cunth, played by Val Kilmer. On paper, the name Dieter Von Cunth might seem stupid, but it cracked me the fuck up every time someone said it. Not to mention Val Kilmer. Come on. MacGruber is part of a 3-person team, including Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) and Vicki Gloria St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig, also another brilliant name). They’re after Cunth because he stole a nuclear warhead and also because he blew up MacGruber’s wife at their wedding.
One of my favorite jokes was that MacGruber assigned all the undercover work to Vicki, even though all of it involved being a man (and sometimes a large man). It’s just so goofy and weird, and Vicki is always terrified to do it so seeing her stand there in too-big clothes looking extremely nervous was just so funny to me.
I don’t really know why MacGruber wasn’t a huge hit. But then again, I don’t really know why Will Forte isn’t a superstar by now.
I always thought I would hate this movie but since I listened to Will Forte’s WTF episode and watching Nebraska, I really admire him right now. So, I was far more interested in him than I have ever been and I’m glad because this movie is worth seeing! It’s really bizarre and a few jokes might fall short but I think it’s insanely consistent with their jokes, and not in an over the top way like everything Seth MacFarlane does. I also just like seeing Val Kilmer being in something new other than Twixt.