World saviour

MACGRU­BER (15, 98 mins) Com­edy/Ac­tion. Star­ring Will Forte, Kris­ten Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer, Pow­ers Boothe and Maya Rudolph. Di­rec­tor: Jorma Tac­cone.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - CINEMA -

FOR al­most 35 years, the late night Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion show Satur­day Night Live has been mer­ci­lessly lam­poon­ing Demo­crat and Repub­li­can pol­i­tics and pop­u­lar cul­ture.

Apart from a rep­u­ta­tion as a finely tuned barom­e­ter of pub­lic taste, SNL has also been a fer­tile breed­ing ground for char­ac­ter co­me­di­ans and their hi­lar­i­ous al­ter egos.

Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi first strut­ted their stuff as The Blues Broth­ers on the small screen, two years be­fore John Lan­dis’s cult 1980 film, and Dana Car­vey and Mike My­ers were most ex­cel­lent in their Wayne’s World guises.

Even Tim Rob­bins’s folk singer turned po­lit­i­cal hope­ful Bob Roberts came to fruition on the show be­fore he ran for of­fice on the big screen.

How­ever, some of SNL’s char­ac­ters haven’t trans­lated well to widescreen: The Cone­heads was an un­mit­i­gated dis­as­ter and more re­cently, A Night At The Roxbury and The Ladies Man mis­placed the gags and punch­lines.

MacGru­ber can be added to the list of fail­ures.

Based on a char­ac­ter cre­ated by ac­tor Will Forte, MacGru­ber is a com­edy about a hap­less for­mer sol­dier who is dragged out of re­tire­ment to save the world from his arch neme­sis.

On SNL, the epony­mous ac­tion man has an un­canny knack of get­ting him­self blown up.

Here, he ac­ci­den­tally det­o­nates some home­made ex­plo­sives, killing an elite team of hard­ened sol­diers and has to go into bat­tle flanked by untested re­cruits.

It’s a recipe for dis­as­ter and MacGru­ber serves up the mis­ery in large, unap­pe­tiz­ing por­tions.

MacGru­ber (Forte) has never re­cov­ered from the murder of his wife (Rudolph) at the hands of the das­tardly vil­lain, Di­eter Von Cunth (Kilmer).

The for­mer sol­dier of for­tune seeks sanc­tu­ary in a South Amer­i­can monastery where Colonel James Faith (Boothe) and ea­ger sub­or­di­nate Lieu­tenant Dixon Piper (Phillippe) track him down.

They im­plore MacGru­ber to re-en­ter ac­tive ser­vice and thwart Von Cunth, who has stolen a nu­clear war­head.

MacGru­ber cob­bles to­gether a team and at­tempts to pre­vent Ar­maged­don.

HAP­LESS AC­TION MAN: Will Forte as MacGru­ber.

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