‘MacGruber’ Review — The Cult Comedy Becomes a Throat-Ripping Hilarious Series

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MacGruber Show Review

Despite being one of the funniest movies ever made, 2010’s MacGruber was a box office bomb. The reasons the film underperformed at the box office are rather easy to understand. Years of underwhelming movies based on Saturday Night Live sketches didn’t exactly give audiences confidence, and the trailers for the film failed to really convey the chaotic comedic energy of action spoof. And yet, over the years, the cult of MacGruber grew. Revival screenings sold out quickly. Fan demands for a sequel grew louder and louder. Now with the advent of the streaming era, streamers need content to generate subscribers and appealing to a devoted cult following is one way to get buzz building. So now we’re greeted with a revival of MacGruber for NBC Universal’s Peacock, an eight-episode sequel to the 2010 film. Even though the brash, foul-mouthed super-spy has sat dormant for over a decade, MacGruber returns in a hilarious, throat-ripping series that delivers the comedic goods.

The first episode opens with MacGruber’s late wife Casey (Maya Rudolph) singing a song teeming with profanities that recaps the events of the film and takes us to the present. MacGruber (Will Forte) has spent the past decade in prison for killing his archnemesis Dieter Von Cunth. When the president’s daughter is kidnapped by another former rival Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth (Billy Zane), MacGruber is recruited by General Barret Fasoose (Laurence Fishburne) on what is expected to be a suicide mission. MacGruber tries to say emotional goodbyes to his ex-wife Vicky St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and former colleague Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe), though MacGruber’s attempt to incriminate them at his trial has left behind some bad feelings. Though everyone says that they’ll never ever work with MacGruber again, they should never ever say never ever.

With the creative team of Forte, Jorma Taccone, and John Solomon each returning, the MacGruber series doesn’t miss a beat from the comedic brilliance of the film. Everything you love about MacGruber is here. Forte unleashes a seemingly endless barrage of crude insults to his adversaries. He violently dispatches his enemies with comically absurd graphic violence. There’s no shortage of throat-rips, as well as new wrinkles to MacGruber’s repertoire of violence. On top of all the gleeful profanity and ridiculous violence, there’s also ample MacGruber nudity. Will Forte bares his ass a lot over the course of the series, including an entire episode where an entirely naked MacGruber must elude a villain with a flamethrower. There reality of MacGruber is that just when you think it can’t get crazier it always does in ways you just can’t expect.

I must caution for viewers to avoid spoilers for MacGruber. It starts out as a rather simple premise: A kidnapping that eventually leads to Enos Queeth hunting for a massively deadly biological weapon. But then an array of twists and turns unfold towards the conclusion of the series, some of which includes MacGruber’s youth and his complicated relationship with his father, played to perfection by Sam Elliot. I really feel the need to credit the creative team of MacGruber in not just making the show’s plot secondary to the gags. The way events unfold continue to surprise while still retaining its comedic chaos.

From top to bottom, the cast of MacGruber delivers stellar comedic work. It’s also another example of the brilliance of the show’s creative team in that only MacGruber and Vicky St. Elmo exist on the absurd comedic plane with most of the cast playing their characters 100% straight. Forte is just so damned funny as MacGruber, going from brash overconfidence to pure cowardice in the blink of an eye. Kristen Wiig gets her moments to shine, especially in the deliriously deranged song she performs in the first episode.

Comedy is tricky and sometimes when something is hilarious it might just be a case of lightning in a bottle. After all, there have been numerous comedy sequels that come years after the original and fail to live up to even a fraction of their comedic predecessors. That’s not the case with MacGruber. This series takes everything you love about the film and expands upon it. It’s like getting two or three MacGruber sequels at once. Most importantly, everyone involved with MacGruber is working at the top of their game and understand just what makes this character endure. MacGruber is back and he hasn’t lost a step. Now its time to hope that it proves to be a big enough hit that we can get more incredible MacGruber adventures. That we’re now getting a MacGruber series over a decade after the movie bombed just reminds us that we should never ever say never ever.

MacGruber
  • Overall Score
5

Summary

Taking all of the madcap elements that the 2010 film a cult classic, MacGruber boasts a vulgar and incompetent lead, wild moments of comedic violence, and plenty of Will Forte’s bare ass in a wildly hilarious sequel series guaranteed to please the most die-hard fans of MacGruber.

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