Reviews: Mac Gruber


I'll start with this: This isn't the movie I expected from the trailers. I'll get to why in a moment. First and foremost, I wonder how many writers this film had. I really do, because it seems to have about three different approaches — with some overlap — going on throughout the movie:

  • A surprisingly decent action movie with twists and explosions. Seriously, without the jokes (forced and otherwise) and a little more depth, there's a passable action flick hiding in there that happens to be saddled with the rest of it.
  • A spoof that knows the meaning of subtlety (not that subtle, mind you, but familiar with it as a concept) and derives a lot of humor from sticking two relatively sane people with a hero who oscillates between manic Psycho For Hire, colossal jerk, flashes of brilliance, and flashes of incompetence where the script calls for it. As a rule, these parts work.
  • A Shallow Parody hinging on cheap jokes and Refuge In Vulgarity. A few of these jokes were funny, the rest... got in the way.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of the third part. It certainly felt like it, anyway. I came in expecting to like this, but then, I wasn't expecting a lot of swearing for swearing's sake, naked Will Forte (plus one lady who's just kind of there and topless in one scene), and general "humor via vulgarity". In that regard, I'm sure there are worse films out there, and it does have its moments, but I can't get over how many ways this could have been a better movie. Cutting out the obligatory "naughty = funny" fluff would be a good start. Not recommended.

(To MacGyver fans: I've barely seen the show beyond the first episode, so I can't really comment. However, if you have a burning desire to see a loose Murdoc Expy die and die hard, knock yourself out.)