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Shut Your Butt! Celebrating the Glorious Stupidity of ‘MacGruber’

A Retrospective on 'MacGruber' for its 10th Anniversary

By MovieBabblePublished 4 years ago 2 min read
Rogue Pictures

If there’s one thing I admire most in this world, it’s an individual’s commitment to the bit. What that “bit” actually is depends entirely on the situation — the possibilities are endless. Pertaining to the world of movies, it can be Lars von Trier insisting on vilifying himself in the public eye, thus creating a highly devoted fan base and almost ensuring that he will continue to make movies as long as he wishes. (My favorite example is in Antichrist, which begins by showing his name in the title credits, followed by the title of the movie itself, creating the hilarious combination “Lars von Trier, Antichrist”.)

It can also be Tarantino’s insistence on somehow putting feet into his movies. It became so ridiculous in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Margot Robbie shoving her dirty feet into the windshield of Brad Pitt’s car that I could do nothing but applaud the man for being so willing to share his kinks on the world stage. At this point, he knows we know about it, so through the power of cinema, he said, “fuck it, I like feet! Here’s more of them!!!”

But the most prevalent area of film where people are committed to the bit is in comedies. Specifically, I’m thinking of instances in films when set pieces or recurring bits are funny, then keep going and become unfunny, only to keep going further and become funny again. Many great comedies stop at that first section — they’re funny from the start and move on to the next scene at its logical conclusion. A perfectly fine structure if you ask me. Most terrible comedies (many coming from Happy Madison) start with jokes that could be funny in theory, but allow the scene/recurring bit to go on too long, but not long enough for irony to kick in. The result is me, sitting on my couch, recounting all the terrible choices in my life that led me to this moment where I have to sit through it.

And then there are those precious few movies that take their comedy to the last leg of this cycle. Movies that understand their stupidity and triple down on it. MacGruber is one of those movies, and it’s been such a joy for me to see its cult of fans grow since its release 10 years ago.

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