Art, or more specifically, film, is at its best when it provokes thought. Movies like Fight Club can make us question what we value and whether it’s worth a shit. Or look at The Godfather Part II, a film that examines power and loneliness, how they work and where they can leave a man. Then there are films like The Seventh Seal, a film that questions life and death – what do they really mean? We walk out of these movies refreshed with a new stance on life and how to experience it. They lead to wonderful discussions in which we can further examine our collective experiences.
Then there are movies like MacGruber that, while they may totally lack a single ounce of intelligible thought, are just fucking funny. And that’s enough.
Less a story than a reprocessing of every 80s movie cliché as told by comedians, MacGruber never even tries to present interesting characters or a plot with legitimate conflict. But director Jorma Taccone (of Lonely Island fame) makes it work – so much love is poured into every truly dumb joke that it never feels shallow or insincere (see just about any Adam Sandler comedy).
Taccone couldn’t have pulled it off if he didn’t have Will Forte in the titular role. Forte, often a highlight on Saturday Night Live, goes everywhere you’re not allowed to explore on broadcast television. You won’t just see the guy naked in the film, you’ll see the guy naked with a vegetable under next to his taint. There’s also a great back-up cast with Powers Boothe, Val Kilmer and Ryan Phillpe – the latter of whom manages to play straight against a main character that won’t stop talking about ripping someone’s balls off.
There’s not much else you can say about movies like MacGruber. While totally worthwhile for anyone who enjoys super-literate parody of yesteryear, it fails to do anything but be utterly fucking silly. A lot of people look down on criticism that boils down to “See It” or “Don’t See It,” but all I can really say here is that you should see it, and start quoting it with your friends.