People have been bemoaning the suck of “SNL” almost as long, now, as the damn show has been airing. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s not just simple groupthink — if you’re 25 years old, and complaining that “SNL” isn’t what it used to be, then what the hell are you comparing it too? The Ana Gastayer/Cheri Oteri years? “SNL” is a show that’s really only good in hindsight, when the horrible skits are forgotten about and only the decent ones remain in your memory banks. It’s just as hit-and-miss in 2009 as it was in 1985. Hell, it’s better than it was in 1985, and not any worse than it was in 1995.
What am I bitching about? Oh yeah: MacGruber. We mentioned a couple of months ago that a movie was in the works, based on the sort-of-funny once skit (that many simply mistake for a Pepsi commercial). Well, guess what? They’re actually going through with it. And this baby is not going to be just another dog-and-pony show with a bunch of SNL actors littering the screen. They’ve gotten actual actors to star in it. Washed up actors, but still. Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer are going to drive the nail through the coffin and into the back of the head of their careers by showing up in it. Jorma Taccone, who created the character and wrote the skit, will be writing with Will Forte, and directing the movie (he also played Cha-Ka in Land of the Lost).
The story will take the character into a new direction, as it must, since in the skits, he blows up after 90 seconds. According to Variety, the movie will follow the legendary, much decorated MacGruber, who is pulled out of retirement as a monk in Ecuador by a colonel, who needs him once more to fight on behalf of his country. This time the mission involves going up against the evil Cunth, who has a nuclear warhead; the mission is personal because Cunth killed MacGruber’s bride.
Cunth? You gotta be fucking kidding me? Val Kilmer will be playing Cunth, because of course he is. Phillippe will play a reluctant army officer paired up with MacGruber to track down Cunth. Kristen Wiig will play MacGruber’s assistant, as she does in the skits. How this works as a movie, I have no idea, mostly because the gimmick is that he blows himself up over and over and over, which could be distracting when you’re trying to fashion a linear plotline.