Of all the one-note SNL characters to get their own movie, few had a note quite as short as MacGruber. In fact, the very idea of making a MacGruber movie seemed at first like a joke in and of itself. The sketches themselves were miniature gags that ran through episodes without much variation. We find MacGruber up against a timed bomb, asking for various items to save the day but getting sidetracked instead and blowing up. That’s about it.
So it’s kind of shocking that MacGruber went on to be the best SNL movie ever. I know that’s a controversial thing to say with the supposedly axiomatic supremacy of The Blues Brothers on the line, but while I think that’s a fun and great movie, and I don’t find it particularly hilarious. MacGruber is fucking hilarious, especially if, like me, you’re all about the action films it parodies. Yes, I want a funny movie. But I will be extra tickled if that funny movie has a strong build up to massive throat-ripping.
It’s all Will Forte, I think. Other elements improve MacGruber, so it’s not like a one-man-show or anything. But there’s something special about Forte’s weirdness, something I only really started appreciating about him on SNL when it was already too late.
Does this trailer accurately sell the film? Other than the part at the beginning which states “Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, violence, language and some nudity,” I have to say no (wag of the finger, MPAA - no Oxford Comma!). They pick a lot of the film’s broadest jokes, I suppose in an attempt to get the broadest audience. As a result, it looks more like a typical SNL film than it actually is. On the other hand, I’m not confident a weirder, more accurate trailer would have helped the film at the box office much.