Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Tuesday, June 01, 2010 M. Ovie Reviews: MacGruber
When I go to movies based on some other medium, I lately seem to be only dimly aware of that fact. I never would have known that Kick-Ass was a comic book adaptation unless it was in every word I read about it. I've never touched an Iron Man comic in my life. And I have some vague understanding that there was a series of novels about a bare-knuckle pit fighter and part-time schizophrenic living in Victorian London, but that was all at the back of my mind when I saw Sherlock Holmes.
Likewise, in the past I-don't-know-how-many-years, I haven't seen any Saturday Night Live at all beyond what makes it to the top of YouTube (and that includes "What Is Burn Notice?" sketch, har de har har), so that time Tara mentioned something about seeing Will Forte in the elevator when she was still working at 30 Rock, I was impressed not because she sighted an SNL cast member, but because she was able to recognize one.
But I still think I would have been able to figure out that MacGruber was based on an SNL sketch even if I hadn't seen it mentioned in all of the minimal reading I'd done before going to see it last Thursday. That's one nice thing about being some hack blogger instead of an actual movie critic; if you don't feel like doing the most basic research into an adaptation's source material, you don't gotta. And I'll be honest, part of the point of this whole feature is to try to build a reputation as a resource for people who are looking for movie reviews written by someone who doesn't know anything.
Not that it matters. Nobody's going to see MacGruber for trenchant insights into the human condition. They're going to see a dopey comedy. In that sense, at least, MacGruber certainly delivers; at least the dopey part. It starts off slow and dumb, with mostly jokes you can write yourself, but once it gets past the setup it picks up quickly.
Other things not to expect; realism, i.e. how this dude became such a legendary figure even though he's a complete idiot. But then just think of him as an American Austin Powers and it gets easier. Do what I did; just go in with low expectations, and you'll eventually realize you're laughing in spite of yourself.
I'm not going to give away the jokes, obviously, because this kind of movie lives and dies on its jokes, but I will tell you one funny thing. After it was over, and Chao and I were heading back to the car, we saw the line outside the theater for the Sex and the City 2 premiere. Man, the ladies dressed up for that one. Given the target audience, Chao wondered, "for whom?"
* * *
In case you hadn't noticed, up top you see the new name for this feature, as suggested by dzwez. dzwez, please feel free to collect your prize, which is to have me review any movie you like that I can get to here in the Twin Cities, unless I don't get around to it before it goes away, in which case you get to pick a new one. Suddenly I'm realizing I maybe shouldn't have offered to do this in the month that Sex and the City 2 came out. posted by M. Giant 5:19 AM 1 comments
Color me happy that you picked my suggestion! Keeping in mind the last movie I saw in the theater was the sixth Harry Potter movie, I feel in no position to send you to the theater to see anything. I'm content to check back frequently and read what you've seen under the M. Ovie title.