Saturday Night Live movies don't exactly have the best track record. For the most part, they are PG-13 movies with lots of random humor that feel like a bunch of small sketches strung together with the same characters. So when I heard that they were making a movie out of MacGruber, which was always shown in quick 30 seconds spots between other SNL skits, I assumed the worst and stayed away from it when it was in theaters. I now know what a terrible mistake I made. MacGruber isn't just funny for a SNL movie, it's hysterical from start to finish and one of my favorite comedies of 2010.
MacGruber is not for everyone though. The humor tends to lead towards random outbursts of obscenities coupled with shocking amounts of gore (for a comedy). MacGruber earns it's R rating and does so very proudly. I was happy to see how seriously they took the "action" in this "action/comedy" hybrid. Everything is wonderfully over the top (MacGruber has an obsession with ripping people's throats out) and left me with a big dumb smile on my face the whole time. Don't worry, there is also romance as well as MacGruber gets two hot and sexy love scenes in that are now forever burned into my memory.
Not everything about this movie is obscene though. There are several little running gags throughout the movie that had me cracking up constantly. My favorite being the bit of having MacGruber always carrying his car stereo with him wherever he goes. All these little jokes helped round out the character of MacGruber just enough to make his character constantly funny throughout and never get stale. That in itself makes this movie a triumph in my opinion.
The movie also has a strong supporting cast, mostly in Ryan Phillippe, Kristen Wiig, and Val Kilmer. I expected Wiig to be funny as she always is on SNL and people forget how funny Kilmer can be (Top Secret!) but I was really surprised how much I enjoyed Ryan's character. He is saddled with the somewhat thankless straight man role here but is given a few moments to really shine and show that he has some great comic timing. I also loved the cameos by several WWE wrestlers that ends in one of the best bits of the entire movie.
If you planned to stay away from MacGruber because it is a SNL movie, I really hope you give it a shot. I went in skeptical but by 10 minutes in, I knew I was in good hands for the next 90 minutes or so. It's fun to see the filmmakers let lose a bit and be able to cover material they could never get away with on TV. It may not be the smartest movie out there (celery scenes?) but it is one of the funniest, and sometimes that's exactly what I'm looking for. Time will tell if this signals a turnaround for SNL movies, but due to the poor performance of this movie at the box office, I doubt it will change a thing. Help get more movies like this made in the future by showing your support for it now on DVD. I think you'll be glad you did.