23 May 2010
There is a quote on the poster above, used everywhere for this film in fact, which if I'm not mistaken is a pull from the review written by a friend of mine, that calls MacGruber "the best SNL movie since Wayne's World." I'd say that about sums it up perfectly. If only that bar weren't so low. The film is fun and watchable -- I only laughed out loud a couple of brief times myself, but I'm a bit reserved when it comes to comedies; I don't mean to be, I just am -- but the aesthetic of the film actually made me a little uncomfortable. Like, it did a pretty great job of hitting what I felt it was aiming for, but I didn't like what it was aiming for, personally. In all truth, the humor made me grimace as often as laugh.
The film is smart enough to take itself very, very seriously, to never pull that Mel Brooks trick of winking to the audience (it works beautifully when Mel Brooks did it, but it wouldn't have worked here). I liked that. It knew what you expected to happen and it subverted it in ways you didn't expect, even when you expected your expectation to be subverted (if that makes sense). In short, even though I kept thinking, "this is really well done," I couldn't help but feel kind of bad for Ryan Phillipe, Powers Booth and Val Kilmer for being in this movie... and that's sort of not a good sign.
Anyway, the bottom line is, I pretty much liked it -- but if I'd been seeing a lot of really amazing Hollywood films (and comedies especially) lately, I'd probably just call this weak and silly and that'd be it. Since I haven't seen a lot of great Hollywood films lately -- in fact I only went to see this because nothing else was playing -- I can't help but grade on a curve here.
It's sad. Is that where we're at? Is that the state of film in 2010? If Hollywood makes it we start awarding the mediocre (with my dollars, at least), because it's better than the rest of the shit? Is this an A-for-Effort world we're living in? I think it might be. And that's depressing.
Seen at the Lloyd Center Cinema.