The trailer for the new Taran Killam helmed action comedy “Killing Gunther” looked like an opportunity to watch an action icon introduce some levity into his normal shtick, with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Gunther” featured heavily throughout the two-and-a-half-minute commercial.  With witty one-liners, plentiful explosions, and Schwarzenegger’s smiling face abutting each shot of the rest of the ensemble cast, one could be forgiven for thinking that the movie follows Gunther’s exploits throughout, which makes sense, seeing as Schwarzenegger is a legitimate action star with pretty solid comedy chops.  Unfortunately, that’s not the movie we ended up with.

Instead, “Killing Gunther” feels a lot more like an SNL sketch that just doesn’t know when to end.  Not only does the film not follow Schwarzenegger like the trailer would lead you to believe, but the Governator doesn’t even show up on-screen until well into the third act of the film.  The rest of the time, we’re left with a cast of SNL alums Killam and Bobby Moynihan, along with a few unrecognizable actors like Amir Talai, who plays “Izzat,” an Islamic fundamentalist that has a robot arm because he lost his helping a fellow terrorist put on his suicide vest… if the humor in that characterization is lost on you, you’re not alone.

Hannah Simone (who some of you may recognize from the show “New Girl”) also plays a Muslim assassin, though her character isn’t intended to be driven by religious fanaticism like Izzat’s.  Don’t worry though, the film still goes far out of its way to present her religion and culture as incongruous with the American way of life, as her father (also a killer) encourages her assassin ways, but then chases her male suitors away with a comical sword as a recurring gag throughout the film.  Yes, that means a solid portion of this movie is devoted almost entirely to finding the humor in religious fanaticism, whether that’s suicide bombings or “honor killings.” Real wacky stuff.

To be fair to Killam, who wrote, directed, and starred in the film, it does have a few genuinely funny scenes, but they don’t really start showing up until two thirds through the film when you finally get to see Gunther.  Yeah, the only character on the poster for the movie is actually in the movie for about 15 minutes, and you’ll have to weather the storm of awkward jokes falling flat for more than an hour before you get there, but to be honest, the scenes Schwarzenegger is actually in are downright entertaining.  It really makes you wish you could see the movie they sold you in the trailer – one about Gunther – because his character, and Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of it, are both pretty damn funny.