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MacGruber (2010) Print E-mail
Friday, 03 September 2010
ImageHere we go again.  Here we have this year's college dorm movie that we spawn endless quotes.  Yikes.  There have been great movies of the past that have inspired numerous everyday quotes including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” to “Austin Powers.”  I have a strong feeling that “MacGruber” doesn’t deserve to be part of that list.

Anyone that remembers the short-lived previews of this movie already know that it is a spoof-comedy type film.  “MacGruber.”  “MacGyver.”  See where I’m going with this.  The film starting out trying to be a spoof on MacGyer’s ability to fashion ordinary objects into escape objects and explosives.  Sadly, the film didn’t succeed on that level, nor does it manage to find its own foothold.

MacGruber (Will Forte) is a retired military expert that is called back to duty to find a nuclear warhead and VonCunth (Val Kilmer), the man who blew up his wife.  Mark this as cliché number one of many throughout this film.  In fact when the pentagon goes to a remote village to locate him and ask him to come back, the scene very closely resembles that in “Hot Shots, Part Deux.”

Naturally, MacGruber returns and is the biggest idiot on the planet, which doesn’t make sense seeing as he has 16 purple hearts, congressional medals of honor, etc.  There is no way he could have ever earned those with his brain-dead ideas.  Even being a comedy, the character development still needs to be sound.  That is something that is seriously lacking in this film.

What really keeps this film down is that lack of movement.  The plot, what plot there is, doesn’t go anywhere throughout the film.  Personally, I found MacGruber to be beyond annoying.  He repeats the same lines over and over throughout the film.  Repetitive comedic lines work to a point, but this film took it far beyond that.  Overdone bits is the name of the game in this movie.
Kristen Wiig, a favorite actress of mine doesn’t stretch her acting abilities in this film.  She plays the same character in terms of delivery that she does in most of her comedy sketches.  Still she is the highlight of the film.  Ryan Phillippe portrays a lieutenant who is the only sane one in the entire film.  He is there to exaggerate the difference between someone normal and the insanity of MacGruber.  Unfortunately, he only deserves to bring out the annoyance of MacGruber.

We won’t even discuss the character portrayed by Val Kilmer.  It is a joke to say the least.  There is a point in this film in which you get the sense that the actors and creators simply gave up.

Ok, so there is one good thing about this film.  When the comedic lines are not overdone and are delivered with timeliness, you will laugh quite hard.  For that reason alone the film receives a slightly average mark.  However, the rest of the film is simply too redundant.

Despite being a less than average film, the video transfer is quite remarkable.  Colors are vibrant and saturated, especially the forest sequences.  For the majority of the film colors are desaturated for the purpose of conveying a rather bland image.  Everything is very dull and has a cold modern architecture feel.  This isn’t a bad thing as the video quality handles every style it is thrown.  Black levels are solid leaving for great shadow delineation.  Contrast and brightness levels nicely complement each other.  Details are beyond excellent.  There wasn’t one instance of softness that I got.  Edge enhancement and other major artifacts are nowhere to be found.  If I have any complaint, it is that the image can seem artificial at times.  Nevertheless, this is quite the video transfer.

Right up there with the video quality is that of the audio quality.  The opening is quite explosive.  Dialogue remains intelligible throughout.  The balance of the effects and music with the dialogue is near perfect.  Dynamics are expansive.  The dynamics are nicely complemented by a full and solid LFE channel.  My only complaint with the audio is really that at times there is a lack of spaciousness.  In some of the more active sequences, the sound effects lack definition.  However, directionality and panning is still smooth and nearly transparent.  The rear channels are always filled with discreet effects and/or ambience.  The audio track provides for an engaging experience.  This DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track comes very near perfection.

This Blu-ray edition comes with the theatrical version of the film as well as an unrated cut.  While the unrated edition does contain a bit more explicit material I doubt that anyone who enjoys this type of film will notice a difference between the two versions.  The unrated edition runs an extra four minutes.

The Blu-ray disc features and audio commentary with Will Forte, director Jorma Taccone and writer Josh Solomon.  The commentary is light and primarily there for extra laughs.  The disc contains one deleted scene and a gag reel.  Neither is that interesting.  The disc is also pocketBLU and BD-Live enabled.

“MacGruber” is really for the college crowd.  It isn’t a great comedy by any means and comes across more as annoying than anything else.  However, there are some laughs.  The audio and video qualities, however are something to marvel at.  Probably just a rent.

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