Thankfully this is not a case of SNL taking a 5 minute premise and stretching it over 2 hours. This is using something that's a part of popular consciousness as a stepping stone (or an excuse) to do something spectacular. Jorma Taccone (of Lonely Island and HOT ROD fame) transformed a one-note MacGuyver parody in to a glorious homage/send-up of 80s action movies. Save for about two minutes towards the end, the MacGruber you know from late night sketch comedy isn't even in this movie. Instead you get something that gives THE EXPENDABLES a serious run for its money, except it's funny. Really funny.
MACGRUBER's greatest ace in the hole is its fearlessness. It's vulgar, graphic and hilarious. And more importantly, it's seriously willing to go the extra mile to really make a joke funnier, or in most cases, more awkward. (If you're someone who cringes easily, this is probably not a film for you.) And almost all of it is done in service of the clichés and traditions of old school action flicks, from a new spin on team building to what are probably the funniest sex scenes since TEAM AMERICA's puppet sutra. There are just so many memorable one liners and running gags that help make this a rewatchable comedy. (I've seen it almost three time since getting the DVD.) The license plate subplot, the story of why Cunth hates MacGruber for no reason, "Your all wet," the insistent one liners—from the first time Grubes wails away on the sax with his shirt off, you'll lose count of all the great moments.
I may have blamed Will Forte for BROTHERS SOLOMON, but here he's the lifeblood of the flick. If MACGRUBER had done the box office it deserved this summer, I'm pretty sure Forte would be something of a breakout star. His MacGruber is cocky, immature, mindless but really good at ripping out people's throats, which is pretty generic broad humor; however, Forte plays up so many smaller, quieter moments and lines that really build the character in to someone more memorable. Plus, his willingness to almost constantly expose himself is worthy of recognition. Kristen Wiig is funny, but is relegated to a one-note supporting character. Same for Ryan Phillippe, but I will say that he was surprisingly funny and a seemingly good sport about some of the things they made him do. (Celery?) However, aside from 80s staple Powers Boothe, my favorite cast member in MACGRUBER is easily Val Kilmer as Cunth. It's so great to see Kilmer return to comedy, not to mention an 80s-flavored one, and he really gives it his all. Not to mention he boasts his TOP SECRET haircut in a flashback which gives this movie an automatic pass.
Commentary with Will Forte, Jorma Taccone and John Solomon: Humorous but not as hilarious as you'd expect from these group of talented people. (It doesn't help that Solomon is calling in on a phone.) Everyone has chemistry, but they spend more time dropping real info about the making of the movie. Which is fine, but don't expect a laugh-a-minute track.
Deleted Scene (0:45): A quick bit about MacGruber being off the case. Fairly worthless.
Gag Reel (7:56): The usual stuff, but the funniest bits are the outtakes from the sex scene. I don’t understand how they even got through that.
Extra Tidbit: I bet Forte really left SNL because he can’t look Kristen Wiig in the eye anymore after filming that sex scene.