Thursday, May 20, 2010

Popcorn Pick 5-21-10

It's always tricky adapting a movie from something that doesn't have a complete story to it. Examples: a short story. A pirate ride from Disneyland. A series of sketches from Saturday Night Live. It's especially difficult when the lead is a risky goofball who's never headlined a hit movie before. But if it's worked for movies that weren't even that good, why couldn't it work for something that looks at least halfway decent, like this week's MacGruber? Will Forte and Kristen Wiig upgrade their popular SNL sketch characters to the big screen in this action-comedy that looks less MacGyver (which the sketches spoof) and more Lethal Weapon. The plot (retired hero gets called back into action to stop a powerful terrorist) is simple, but is still more complicated than each of the sketches (MacGruber and sidekick are stuck in a bunker with a bomb, get distracted, and die). This film has promised to push the R rating to the limit, with coarse language, crude humor, and gratuitous sex in every scene. I'm hoping for a laugh-a-minute pace, a new star in Forte, and the comedy event of the year. Co-stars Ryan Phillippe (Crash) and Val Kilmer.
(I feel I have to put a postscript on this week's Pick. While I'm excited to see MacGruber, it was difficult for me to put it as my pick when Shrek Forever After opens on the same day. Unfortunately, buzz for this animated sequel isn't good and seems likely to disappoint fans of the series. Forte's film appears to be impressing audiences and it seems we might have a surprise hit on our hands there. Regardless of its quality, Shrek is opening in 3-D and will probably open at number 1 this weekend.)

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