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Friday, May 21 3:00 AM ET

Trailer Review: MacGruber

By Brian Briggs follow me on Twitter or Google Buzz

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MacGruber ReviewThis week I take a look at the latest Saturday Night Live skit to be turned into a movie, MacGruber. OK, those in the audience who would rather see an actual MacGyver movie in the theater than this parody, raise your hands. I see a lot of hands up out there. Actually, I only see mine, but I'm imagining a lot of hands up out there.

Richard Dean Anderson isn't dead yet, so there's still hope, but until then we'll have to settle for this. Now, SNL skits have had a shaky journey to the big screen, and only a few have had success. Heck, only a few have been watchable. Is this one going to be one joins the few? Let's find out.

Evil Val
I know Kung-fu

The trailer opens with the appearances of being a straight thriller. A Colonel, played by Powers Boothe, narrates some bad shit going down. A Russian warhead has fallen into the hands of a doughy Val Kilmer, known only as Dieter in this movie (and thankfully not the Dieter of Sprockets). Dieter proclaims that he will turn Washington D. C. into "a pile of ash." No comments on whether this would be an improvement or not from the peanut gallery.

The Colonel says that they need the best. He's calling in MacGruber. For those not familiar with MacGruber, he's played by Will Forte on short SNL skits that parody MacGyver and usually end with the bomb blowing up everyone. I doubt that will happen here, as they want to leave room open for a sequel.

MacGruber's putting together a team, and while he doesn't use guns, his band of special ops hulks sure does. The government doesn't trust MacGruber completely, so the General adds Ryan Phillipe to the team. Also, part of MacGruber's team is another SNL cast member Kristen Wiig.

MacGruber Lookalike
Am I really in this movie?

Next, we hear MacGruber telling Kristen that he planted an upper decker in Dieter's bathroom, and goes on to explain what an upper decker is. Hopefully, this isn't the extent of the humor in MacGruber, because that's not funny. I'm not going to give away the next couple of humor scenes, but I thought Val Kilmer's line was the best.

MacGruber's a bit of a chicken for a special ops guy. He pulls Ryan Phillipe in front of him to block gunfire. He dresses Kristen up in a MacGruber costume, so the bad guys will target her instead. I think that's how he's stayed alive all these years, but I'm guessing he went through a lot of partners.


Trailer Quicktime
Starring Will Forte
Val Kilmer
Director Jon Favreau
Official Site Link
US Opening May 21, 2010
Rated R (Violence, sex, language, all things that make a movie good)
Genre SNL
Explosions 6
Weapons X5 nuclear warhead, assault rifle, homemade explosives, uzi, handguns, feet of fury, SMG, RPG launcher
Man Quotient


Déjà Vu
Iron Man
Geek Factor 50%
See Trailer? No
See Movie? Yes
Follow Up Unlikely

Interspersed with the comedic scenes is an action montage full of the requisite guns, girls and explosions.

Ending Prognostication: MacGruber bumbles his way to saving the day, but blows up a lot of stuff on the way.

Fun with IMDb: Starring the woman who was an extra in Melvin Goes to Dinner and the guy who played Eric in the ABC Afterschool Special called "One Too Many." And from the producers who brought you Don't Touch if You Ain't Prayed and RV.

Conclusion on Trailer: It's hard to judge a trailer for an R-rated comedy, as you'd expect most of the best jokes are R-rated. And seriously, if you've already got an R-rating you might as well get good use out of it. This trailer does manage to get a couple chuckles from me, but also a couple of "not funny"s. If you're thinking of going to see the movie then just skip the trailer. Why ruin any of the jokes?

Conclusion on Movies: The history of Saturday Night Live movies doesn't bode well for this one, but most of those didn't have an R-rating. I love MacGyver, so I should be able to get the inside jokes, if there are any. I'm going to give this one a slightly positive rating, and say it might actually be worth seeing in the theater. How's that for being wishy-washy?

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