What do MacGruber and Mickey Mouse have in common? Not much, but since I’m sitting at ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney (with my niece and sis in the park waiting for me), I’ll quickly try to come up with some common touchstones. For one, MacGruber – the outrageous SNL skit action hero based on MacGyver – is just as childlike as the Mickster. Second, the level of maturity of their intended audiences is in many ways comparable. And lastly, for entertainment value, if you belong to either of those demographics, you’re bound to have a ball with these fine fellows.
I took some notes during my 15th screening (on the iPhone under hoodie cover, no more netbooking – too obvious for the ushers), and here’s what I came away with…if you’re a fan of Lethal Weapon, Road House or if you can’t wait for the comeback of Michael Dudikoff, then this is your movie. Let me ammend. If you love those flicks, but are also honest enough to embrace the inherent cheese factor and laugh at (or with) them, then eat ‘em and smile. Will Forte as Grubs, Kristen Wiig as Vikki St. Elmo, and Ryan Phillippe as Agent Piper, are comic aces as a ridiculous special ops team tasked to bring down Val Kilmer’s devious Dieter von ‘Cunth.’ Kilmer, too, is a revelation – he takes relish in hamming it up, and his appearance is eye-catching – somewhere between Top Gun and Alexander, Kilmer added some extra layers of heft, and he’s taking it to a new level in MacGruber.
However, if stupider is as stupider does isn’t your bag, then pass. A lot of the movie’s humor works, a lot of it doesn’t, but it’s all of the gratuitously juvenile variety (you'll never look at celery the same way again).
Also, though, I was impressed by the sheer production value of summer fare such as MacGruber…and how it played in yet another immaculate auditorium (it was supposed to be a Cinemark, but due to a time crunch, I saw it at the AMC at Downtown Disney). So far, I’ve caught films all over L.A. and up in San Francisco, and I have to admit, California has some incredible theaters to be bombarded by explosions and visual eye candy – of which MacGruber has a lion's share. Long live MacGruber, Toto and Eddie Money. Now it’s time to go ride Splash Mountain!
What, me worry?