Skip to main content

He Puts American Flags in His Bombs

Movie Title: MacGruber (2010)
Spoilers: none


Get ready for a man so American that he puts American flags inside the bombs he makes. Everyone will call him a moron soon enough, but you'll call him MacGruber first. It's the only name by which he is known at any time in the film. He has no other names and he's like a military celebrity, but more cerebrally challenged. Even his enemies at first suppose him to be mentally handicapped and dismiss him as a possible threat. That’s an advantage even he can’t blow.

As MacGruber, former SNL cast member Will Forte steps into a role he was meant to play. MacGruber is a war hero gone into hiding, having allowed the world to think he is dead. This was brought on by the death of his to-be wife, Casey (Maya Rudolph). Her sister, Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) was part of his old team and the only member who doesn't get blown to bits by 75 pounds of C4, incompetently rigged by MacGruber himself.

Rambo-ishly, MacGruber is visited by Colonel James Faith (Powers Boothe), a plain-spoken, fine American--the kind he played as over-the-top, cowboy Vice President Noah Daniels on 24. Thanks to Col. Faith, MacGruber is talked back into action and hooks up with a young and actually smart, Lt. Dixon Piper (Ryan Philippe). With Vicki St. Elmo, the team of three find themselves against MacGruber's old archenemy, Dieter von Cunth (played by a heavier and European-ized Val Kilmer) who plans to reduce Washington D.C. with a nuke.

For MacGruber, it's an opportunity for revenge. Cunth is a painting, art-minded villain set on destroying D.C. His minions tend to everything he needs done. He hosts suit-and-tie events, but is willing to throw unwanted guests out of parties through windows like on Master Ninja.

MacGruber may not be much for strategy (he's on level with Peter Griffin in that regard). But he can yell and curse and make a scene with un-toppable sarcasm. When the occasion calls for it, he dances around nude with celery in his ass (he does so to distract the bad guys). And he curses up a storm at funerals before grieving audiences. Some of his more witty lines are: "Never ever say never ever."

He knows how to use martial arts to rip the throats out of his opponents in a fight, but that's all he knows how to do. The rest of the time, he's getting tossed out of windows like lounge lizards against a Terminator. But MacGruber has intuition and medals of honor from the president to go with it - probably just because he has naked pictures of him - but he still has the metals.

No, this guy isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but like the movie, the character is damn funny. MacGruber is a slam against slow-motion screams and other 1980s filming styles. Everything from American Ninja to James Bond villains are borrowed for fun in this long-running SNL skit.

MacGruber is a lady's man with a high libido. Saturday Night Live Director Jorma Taccone has been directing SNLs since 2003, and in his directorial movie debut, has taken the liberty of showing us just how very vocal MacGruber is in bed, as he sounds like a perfectly ordinary subway pervert getting his jollies atop an already stiff corpse hidden under some crumpled newspapers. When sobbing and in need of something from you, MacGruber has the disturbing tendency to offer to bone anything you want.

MacGruber is 90 minutes of put-down comedy--the lead character himself being the brunt of most of that. It is relieving to know that beneath the silly humor of incompetence, ass celery stunts, and outrageous characterizations is the fact that society is full of talked-up stupids who should never have made it as far as they did. MacGruber being the prime example, he is the spirit of socially maladjusted mental-cases, of simplistic patriots and department store-working junkies with drops of ineptness practically rolling off their long, thick heads of hair.

MacGruber, as a film, is like any friend of a friend: some will love him and others will hate him. Some will find him offensive, tastelessly nasty, and/or just plain stupid. Others still will just dismiss him as simply insane, putting him in that rather broad category known as "not for everyone." But to others, he is, of all things, undeniably funny, a jaw-dropping companion to spend time with while winding down. Won't you join me?



Grade: A- (4 stars) Recommended!
Rated: R (for strong and crude sexual content, violence, language, and some nudity)
Director: Jorma Taccone
Summary: Ex-special operative MacGruber is called back into action to take down his archenemy, Dieter Von Cunth, who is in possession of a nuclear warhead.
Starring: Will Forte "MacGruber," Kristen Wiig "Vicki St. Elmo," Ryan Phillippe "Lt. Dixon Piper," Val Kilmer "Dieter Von Cunth," Powers Boothe "Col. James Faith," Maya Rudolph "Casey," Chris Jericho "Frank Korver," Mark Henry "Tut Beemer"
Genre: Action / Comedy


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…