MacGruber - 5th September 2010

Ok so let's get the good points of this film out of the way first... (leave suitable pause)
Good, so with that out of the way I can now go on at length about everything that was so mind staggeringly bad and jaw droppingly awful about this film, which was absolutely everything. I would rather watch a video of some kittens being strangled than ever watch this again, there were more laughs in Schindler's List! 
Now, I know what all 7 of you are thinking: what were you expecting? a work of unbridled comic genius? No, no I wasn't, funnily enough I was expecting an action comedy to have some passable action and to make me chortle, maybe... a bit. Too much to ask? apparently so. In fact I set out expecting very little, it's a Sunday night, I have been out and about all day, my wife and her friend are running through the first season of the Vampire Diaries in the living room and so I thought: what the hell, nothing much else going on, I could do with a mild titter or occasional chuckle, I'll see what they have at the video store. I should've taken a hammer to my knee caps instead or tucked into a cockroach salad, either would've been preferable than the last hour and a half that I'll never ever get back.
MacGruber is a film based on an SNL skit which itself is a parody of MacGuyver which was, in-part at least, a rip off of the A-Team also, judging by other SNL movie efforts and the fact that the show now is patchier than Patchy Patrick McPatchy's eye patch store and patchwork quilt emporium in Patchy New Patchshire, the chips were stacked pretty highly against it but I thought at least, like the best of SNL, it would have a certain shoddy charm to it. It doesn't, it's not funny, simply put, it is just not funny. 
The running gag of the film, and one that the film-makers seem bizarrely impressed with, is that the villain is called Cunth. They must say it over a hundred times in the film, it wasn't funny the first time and ceased being even bearable the 432nd time they said it! There wasn't a single dead horse unflogged. What is absolutely brain itchingly, flat-out unbelievable and just cocking confusing is, despite the villains name, they didn't use it as part of an innuendo or clever word play. 
Oh... wait... I am sorry yes they did, MacGruber said 'I am going to pound that Cunth' (wait for laughter... no laughter? really? what a surprise) and just like the funny name they were oh so proud of, they used that joke till it was worn thinner than a midget's unwaxed dental floss. 
Normally in an action comedy the protagonist can either wise crack their way out of anything (see Beverley Hills Cop or Fletch) or they are a bumbling idiot, who, with the help of extraordinarily good luck, or a cleverer-than-they are sidekick, foils the villain's plan and saves the day (Naked Gun or Return of The Pink Panther). MacGruber attempts, I guess, to be the second one of these except he's not bumbling he's a willful, incompetent liability, a full blown, solid gold, highly polished arse head and quite possibly mentally ill (sadly not in a funny way). Without the innocence or ignorance of a Frank Drebin or the comic genius to pull off the misplaced ego of an Inspector Clouseau you find yourself not only completely unwilling to give to bronzed turd about the character but actively despising him and hoping beyond hope that the one-too-many-pies figure of Val Kilmer swaggers into view and mashes his stupid wigged face into a sloppy pulp.
None of this is really the fault of the cast, although Will Forte did co-write it and the others signed up to dance and splash about in this effluent (we'll let Kristen Wiig off because, as she was in the original skit, she probably had no choice), the fault must be laid firmly at the, no doubt, withered and clubbed feet of the script. 
The people who coughed up the whole thing seemed to deliberately replace any hint of a joke with swearing, gratuitous nudity, callous sexual references, unpleasant sex scenes, gory violence, sudden deaths, occasional homophobia, endless repetition and even going as far as to smash you over the head with explanations of obvious, not very humourous, jokes after you just watched the whole sorry mess unfurl. 
Now I am not a prude and I was not offended by any of the above, if used correctly and cleverly any one of those things can be tremendously effective and very funny but in the case of MacGruber each attempt at, I suppose, what was meant to be edgy, rude humour fell like a whole bunch of lead balloons onto the head of cute puppy right in front of some happily playing children.
Apart from the odd bit of music, the mullet and the filming style they completely wasted the opportunity to make any 80s references or even directly parody MacGuyver at any point. The film also completely short changed the audience when it came to the lead character building anything inventive or fixing anything with common household goods, which was such a staple of the TV show, hell even Axel Foley knows how to use a chewing gum wrapper! Instead the movie opts to make repeatedly unfunny and weird comments about ripping throats out, which I don't remember Richard Dean Anderson ever doing.
It was just such a waste, such a worthless pile of heavily pungent animal excrement that it actually made me sad. If given even a third of that budget, I know some people who could make a flick 50 times funnier, in fact everyone I know, even if they were bound and gagged to a chair could make a funnier film than MacGruber.
Thankfully there shouldn't be a sequel, what a pile of old Cunths!

1 out of 10 spat in, moldy green salads

Machete - 7th September 2010

George A Romero's Survival of the Dead - 2nd September 2010