REVIEWS: ‘The Other Guys’
SHULL: Film doesn’t disappoint
“The Other Guys” is the latest collaboration of writer/director Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. It stars Will Ferrell as straight-laced cop Allen Gamble and Mark Wahlberg as Terry Hoitz — Allen’s angry and unbalanced partner.
The film opens with New York’s two top cops, Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, involved in a high-speed chase with armed drug runners. The intense and well-choreographed action mixes well with the comedic element of the film and lets the audience immediately understand the world they have just stepped into. After the chase ends with the good guy’s car crashing and exploding into Trump Tower, of course the good guys walk away from it unscathed, the duo is honored by New York, despite the 12 million in damages that they have caused.
From here we get introduced to Allen and Terry and their dysfunctional relationship. Allen is a safe and conservative cop/accountant and is purposely boring and careful. He fears that any outlandish stimulation will bring out the animal in him, as it did when he was a hardcore pimp in college.
Terry is, of course, the polar opposite. He has serious anger issues that stem from a shooting accident earlier in his career. More specifically, he accidentally shot Derek Jeter and therefore was not only hurt in his career, but also hated by New Yorkers in general.
These two actually make a really funny pairing. Will Ferrell seems to have had to slightly switch up his usual M.O. when paired with Wahlberg. The chemistry is good and the jokes rely on their ridiculous partnership as characters and their interesting collaboration as actors instead of the quirks of any one person.
The cast is rounded out with Eva Mendes, who plays Allen’s incredibly hot and out of his league wife. I was also pleased to see Michael Keaton as their Captain. He gives a good performance and if you pay attention, you will notice his bald spot changes a few times in the film, but I’m pretty sure this was unintentional.
I would recommend this film to anyone who just wants to sit down for a decent comedy. As far as the laughs go, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s a film that knows what it is.
WIEGENSTEIN: Film good enough to rent, but not buy
While it’s easy to remember only the broad strokes in many of the collaborations between director Adam McKay and his co-writer/muse Will Ferrell (“Anchorman,” “Step Brothers”), what has always elevated the pair’s comedy above the numerous imitators is the attention to detail. In McKay and Ferrell’s latest outing, “The Other Guys,” Mark Wahlberg’s tightly-wound cop uses a ridiculously over-the-top screensaver of a great white shark leaping from the water. It says all you need to know in a single shot, and conjures laughs to boot.
Wahlberg is a welcome newcomer to the filmmaking partnership here, whose coiled-spring performance often outshines Ferrell’s supposed leading role. While the latter’s aggressively mild-mannered Allen is good for running gags that wear out their welcome early in the flick (the way he effortlessly draws gorgeous women to him, for example), Terry (Wahlberg) is prone to the type of agonized outbursts that McKay is more talented with.
In fact, the best performances in “The Other Guys” breeze past in 20 minutes or so – these being the “hero cops” played by perennial badasses Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson (you may remember him as “The Rock,” but he seems to have officially moved on from his former moniker). Moments that mock ridiculous police-action popcorn movies are spot-on – the quintessential “cool guys walk away from explosions” shot is a particularly good one – but once “The Other Guys” becomes yet another entry in the genre, the focus is lost and the humor dwindles away.
Those eager for a larger dose of Ferrell in their DVD version will be sorely disappointed, as this disc is woefully scant of nearly anything one might expect — no outtake reel, not even a standard — issue commentary. The two featurettes that are tacked on are both brief and perfunctory: a peek into the staging of several car chases, and a wholly inexplicable mini-tribute to supporting actor Michael Keaton. Bottom line: Enough for a rent, but purchasing would only aid those attempting an ultimate Ferrell collection.
|Print article||This entry was posted by jmartin on December 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm, and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|