If MacGruber were a food, it would be one of those new ice cream cones with a Kit-Kat finger in the middle. Separately, both are high caloric and delicious desserts. Combined, the result is not quite the sum of its sweet parts.

MacGruber is the same; it has Saturday Night Live funnymen combined with the already ridiculous tropes of muscle-action films. Theoretically, this is a recipe for non-stop laughter; in practice, it’s not quite that.

Forte plays the mullet-boasting action hero made famous by a series of sketches on SNL. On the hit show, the skits traditionally followed a rigid 30-second formula where MacGruber has to diffuse a ticking bomb before it goes off, only to waste these precious few seconds by making margaritas or something equally mundane. However, in the film, the character is less of a one-trick, bomb-diffusing pony, and more of a satiric take on self-assured 80s action heroes.

The film starts with MacGruber in seclusion. After losing his wife to a bomb planted by his nemesis, Dieter Van Cunth (Kilmer), MacGruber decides to leave his old life behind him and retreat to an Ecuadorian monastery. Dieter Van Cunth gets his hand on a nuclear missile and MacGruber gets called back for one last mission; a chance to finally avenge the death of his wife.

MacGruber takes on the job after resisting for a few scenes, and then he goes about assembling his macho team ( mostly consisting of ex-WWE wrestlers) while listening to tenuous 80s hits by the likes of Boston. It’s silly all the way through in quite a hilarious way; yet something is lacking. The film’s commitment to the action structure comes at the expense of the comedy. 

There are little funny nods here and there, and these mostly sustain MacGruber, yet the film never gets as absurd as the 80s action films that it’s making fun of. There are a few set pieces where Forte’s straight-man routine pays off, and together with Kristen Wiig– herself the ice queen of the straight-man routine– provides a lot of silliness, which is perhaps the best that can be said about this film.

Some say that a film is as a good as its villain, and in this case, the villain is a deliciously played by Kilmer, who is the physical incarnation of pointless villainy. Not only is he willing to give his opponents a detailed outline of his plans before shooting them, he also shows them his paintings and has a cup of tea to catch up on lost time. Stupid, yes; but isn’t that the point?