We really shouldn't have expected much from a film adaptation of a Saturday Night Live sketch. After all, of the ten movies that the show has spun off, you can count the ones that are entertaining on one hand (The Blues Brothers, Wayne's World, Superstar, list over). But the MacGruber sketches are so funny, with a bomb-defusing Will Forte getting held up by father-son issues, political correctness and heroin addiction, that we thought there was no way the movie could fail -- especially with co-star Kristen Wiig on board. But the redband trailer, which surfaced last week, makes it look like a huge mess. Maybe they're focusing on the more risqué elements for this particular trailer, but since it's the first one we've seen, we're gonna go ahead and assume the rest of the movie is like this, meaning a shoestring assembly of far too on-the-nose jokes.
Among the "jokes" we heard in the trailer:
- Val Kilmer's bad guy name is "Dieter Von Cunth." That's right, his last name is the C-word. Assuming they say his name every five minutes in the movie, that's a good 18 jokes right there the writers have knocked off over the entire running time.
- MacGruber opens a set of doors and says "I'm in," but it's just an empty cafeteria. The next one in the trailer is the right one, but something tells us he tries six or seven doors in the movie, because if a joke works, why not repeat it? Five bucks says at least one of the doors has people having sex behind it.
- "I thought you were dead!" "So did I. But I'm not." That's the joke? Not "I got better"? Not "I found out it was just that I was in Nebraska"? Because those are two jokes we know from movies, and they have punchlines. If the non-punchline is the punchline, then we don't get it.
- Non-punchline #2: "This guy's untouchable." "Oh, I'll touch him, rookie -- I'll touch him wherever I want." Get it? Because "touch" has two meanings. Actually, it only has one meaning, but it was being used as a metaphor the first time, and... you know, just forget it. Done!
- "How did you know I was wearing a bulletproof vest?" "You were wearing a bulletproof vest?" Ah, the classic reckless-hero-gets-lucky-and-his-comrade-assumed-he-was-in-control-all-along gag. That never gets old! Hmm? It does? Whoops.
- MacGruber tells Wiig's character that he left an upper-decker in the toilet. Then he proceeds to explain to her (and the audience) what an upper-decker is. If you have to explain it, it has already stopped being funny. Everyone who is going to laugh at that joke has already laughed. Meaning nobody.
- MacGruber tells Von Cunth's young female companion that he hopes she enjoys being date-raped by the villain. But oops! She's actually Von Cunth's daughter, thereby rendering that totally tasteful joke about rape tasteless and inappropriate. Oh, wait -- it was already tasteless and inappropriate.
- The "Look at all the wires!" gag could have been funny, but our hearts dropped as we heard it, because this is undoubtedly the big, climactic joke of the film, taking place five minutes before the credits roll. Joke-wise, we now know how the film is going to end.
- Non-punchline #3: "Stick it where the sun don't shine!" "Oh, yeah? Where might that be?" "...Y-your butt? ...Up your butthole?" Aaaaand scene.
Okay, MacGruber flipping the doorman the bird as he enters the party was actually pretty funny, too. Give your reactions below.