Could not authenticate you.followers
The minds behind the 2008, “Step Brothers”, return in the cop spoof of the summer, “The Other Guys”. In an unlikely comedy duet, Will Ferrell serenades the big screen with Mark Wahlberg to take on some of toughest white-collar criminals in the game. There’s definite chemistry here, with a few slap-your-leg laughs, but it isn’t near the caliber it coulda/shoulda been.
“Bad Boys”, “Lethal Weapon”, “Rush Hour” – cop movies aren’t new, and they continually define themselves with enormous explosions and fight scenes on par with Jedi sparring. But cop films of 2010 care less about the visceral sensation linked to the genre, instead aligning with satire. When the film opens with Samuel L. Jackson shooting out from the driver’s seat of a car flying 10 feet off the ground (only after it was jettisoned from inside a trolley… because that better explains the physics of it all), you know you’re either in the presence of a Michael Bay film or something intentionally outlandish.
Earlier this year, the Kevin Smith film, “Cop Out”, tried to farce up the cop but became more yawn than yarn. “The Other Guys” is a little more grounded, proving to be the victor, as it takes ridiculous to ludicrous while maintaining the necessary “Ha, ha” factor.
Detectives, P.K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson) are the top dogs at the NYPD. They get all the ladies, action and fame, but don’t do any of the paperwork. But our story isn’t about them. It’s about the dudes who sit at their desks in the shadows, while the high rollers gamble with their lives on the mean streets. Meet detectives, Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), they’re ‘the other guys’—the laughing stocks of the department.
Hoitz has only fired his gun once, shooting a celebrity in the leg, and Gamble spends most of his time analyzing data on his computer. But the Gamble/Hoitz joke is about to become a stand-up routine as they find themselves in the middle of a case they can’t handle and conditions that can only lead to a comedic romp.
“The Other Guys” may be a hoot compared to recent comedy editions, but it’s got nothing on director Adam McKay’s other works. It’s hard to recapture such fantastic moments as “Great Odin’s raven” in “Anchorman”, the significance of baby Jesus in “Talladega” or how great the Catalina Wine Mixer is in “Step Brothers”. This one’s still chock full of fresh material, even if there’s several flat moments. In short, McKay’s worst still beats most comedy director’s best.
It’s spoof with a dash of the random moments, like learning about Gamble’s former days as a pimp named Gator, or Hoitz “ironically” learning to dance in order to make fun of dancers. It’s got plenty of continuous gags too, like Gamble’s ability to attract women way out of his league (it must be the curly hair), while Hoitz is the ex-girlfriend stalker who’s jealous of Gamble’s sex appeal. It’s a nice twist, making the sexy man suffer a little.
As the film progresses, it goes deeper and deeper into satire, mocking all the action movie clichés: corny one-liners, over-the-top car chases and the good cop/bad cop scenario. It’s at its strongest when the random humor takes control.
Ferrell’s natural charisma shines in these moments, almost helping us forget his last film, the awful “Land of the Lost”. Wahl-berg’s got nothing on Ferrell’s former co-stars, like John C. Reilly, but he knows how to caricature-it-up. Michael Keaton also provides a bang up performance as Captain Gene Mauch, who has to work another job at Bed Bath & Beyond and has an affinity for quoting TLC lyrics.
I must say, I was a little disappointed they didn’t just rate the film R and go for gold with some of these jokes. Something like “Step Brothers” wouldn’t have worked without the crude humor. Trying to appeal to the PG-13 demographic just watered down what could have been some memorable moments. Instead, it felt like McKay, Ferrell and Wahlberg were just going for a larger audience rather than aiming for the fans who already love their stuff. At least there’s still McKay and Ferrell’s often R-rated comedy hub “Funny or Die”—they don’t pull punches online and it’s fantastic fun with viral creativity that’s absent on the big screen, especially in this film.
“The Other Guys” isn’t groundbreaking but it does keep the jokes going. There’s something about Ferrell that will always be hysterical, and this one’s got the charm. It might not be an own-it film, but it’s worth the popcorn stains you’ll get when some of the laughs catch you off guard.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Leave a Reply