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Thursday, May 27, 2010 04:09 am

MacGruber short on ammo

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Will Forte in MacGruber.

As stupid as they are, I always get a kick out of the short “MacGruber” spots on “Saturday Night Live.” This “MacGyver” parody is a one-joke gag – Will Forte tries to defuse a bomb, though being distracted, he’s blown to bits every time – though it’s still amusing due to the performer’s over-earnest approach. Moments such as these are the highlights of the MacGruber feature film, which finds the man-of-action lured out of retirement to face his old nemesis, Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer). Seems the bad guy has not only stolen a nuclear warhead, but he’s also responsible for the death of MacGruber’s wife, which prompts many of the hero’s hilarious anguished cries to the heavens.

Needless to say, all involved have great fun saying the bad guy’s last name, while MacGruber’s ineffectiveness provides one funny moment after another. Forte is a game performer, shamelessly putting his character in many awkward spots, while Kristin Wiig and Ryan Phillipe offer ample support as his love interest and straight man respectively. Too bad director Jorma Taccone couldn’t generate a jaunty, romp-like tone a la Wayne’s World. That would have helped balance out much of the film’s crudest moments, which Forte falls back on far too often. In the end, MacGruber winds up having a couple more jokes at its disposal than the SNL spots, but that’s hardly enough to warrant a second mission.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.

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