This Week’s “SNL” Revisits the Highs and Lows of Moviegoing

And it features Vin Diesel (kind of)

Beck Bennett as Vin Diesel
Beck Bennett played Vin Diesel on this week's "SNL."

Is theatrical moviegoing about to have a comeback? Looking at the upcoming release calendar, it certainly seems like it — even if many theaters will still be making use of masking and social distancing come blockbuster season. But there are plenty of things that the theatrical experience has going for it — and this week’s Saturday Night Live helped delineate just what those are.

The sketch was structured as a commercial for AMC Theaters tying in with the latest Fast and Furious movie, which — to be fair — does look the platonic ideal of a summer blockbuster. (Plus, #JusticeForHan.) Beck Bennett plays Vin Diesel, and his is an impression that — much like Taran Killam’s from a few years ago — doesn’t quite capture the ineffable qualities of Diesel’s screen presence.

It does, however, find Bennett rattling off an increasingly specific list of features of going to the movies, to the alarm of an AMC employee played by guest host Anya Taylor-Joy. The humor of the sketch comes from Bennett-as-Diesel’s hyper-intense, dramatic delivery of his lines, some of which neatly capture bizarre aspects of going to the movies. (The Aerosmith video game! A cardboard cut-out of Garfield!)

Will this sketch make you want to head back to a movie theater? Maybe, and maybe not. But it will make you think about some of the design choices in movie theater garbage cans, and maybe that’s enough.

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