In MacGruber, Forte's antihero tools around in a red first-generation Miata. If you haven't seen the Saturday Night Live sketch that the movie is based upon, here's the gist: MacGyver-like goof attempts to defuse some random bomb or tricky situation, spends time getting sidetracked by personal issues, invariably dies when he cannot focus. He seeks out action, a'la a broke-ass James Bond, in a first-generation Miata.
You can interpret this a number of different ways. A few members of the Jalopnik staff think it's because Hollywood doesn't understand cars, noting that the Miata is cooler than film studios think it is. I've even gotten a few emails from readers saying the same thing; people like to point out that putting a neat car up as a paragon of goofiness is some larger statement about the incompetence of the movie industry as a whole.
Me, I just think it's a coincidence. Miatas are cool, sure, but you can't deny the obvious: Unless you're rolling around in a slammed Spec Miata or E-Prod car on Toyos/Hoosiers/gum erasers, you kind of look like a dork. MacGruber is supposed to look like a dork. The Miata is beloved by enthusiasts but generally derided by the rest of the free world. I love the cars, and have raced them in a couple of different forms, but even I have to admit that you look like a big 'ol cherry-pie goober when you drive one. 'Nuff said.
Still, this gives us an excuse to watch a trailer for what will likely be a pretty entertaining flick. Nice way to start a Wednesday, don't you think?