x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

DVD review: Macgruber

Macgruber is a childish comedy that is 18 years behind its time.

Macgruber
Director: Jorma Taccone
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer
**

At some point in the future, scriptwriters are going to turn their comedic attention to the noughties as a source of ridicule, giving future teenagers the opportunity to whoop with laughter at our silly haircuts and cumbersome touch-screen phones.

Until then, we'll have to make do with the increasingly appalling Scary Movie series, along with their other equally rubbish incarnations, and films such as MacGruber.

The plot can be summed up thus: a crime lord (Kilmer) steals a Russian nuke and the former US army ranger MacGruber (Forte) is the only man who can stop him.

The jokes revolve around MacGruber's mullet and his inability to do anything without turning to clichés from late 1980s/early 1990s action films, along with puerile nonsense aimed squarely at infants.

Wiig rocks up as MacGruber's old friend Vicki St Elmo while Philippe has the thankless task of playing the "square" army lieutenant Dixon Piper used as the target for much of the juvenile dialogue.

There are very occasional laugh-out-loud moments. Macgruber hands St Elmo a folder scrap of paper that reads "I am at the Pentagon" in giant, childlike handwriting and drives an open-top car with a cassette radio that he insists on taking with him everywhere for security purposes (although this gag starts to wear very thin).

The film clearly wants to be Hot Shots Part Deux, and follows a similar storyline, but is unfortunately 18 years late and 18 times less funny. Come back Charlie Sheen, all is forgiven.