The Other Guys
The Other Guys is the fourth collaboration between actor Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who previously brought us solid comedy gold with Talladega Nights, Anchorman, and Stepbrothers. I went in with high hopes, and those hopes were mostly fulfilled. It is a consistently funny movie, though with several, and perhaps, to some viewers, crippling, flaws.
Our heroes, the titular other guys, are Gamble (Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), two schlubby NYPD detectives in a department overshadowed by the over-the-top exploits of Detectives Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (The “Dwayne Johnson” Rock). When they are given, through force of circumstance, a chance to step up 3D…err, step up to the big leagues, Hoitz jumps at it, while Gamble, content to be a desk jockey, resists with all his might. Hijiinks ensue, naturally.
If you enjoy Will Ferrell in general, and more specifically his aforementioned collaborations with McKay, chances are good that you will dig The Other Guys. It aims straight for that same funny bone, and hits more than it misses. That being said, it does have a fair share of problems, not the least of which is the nearly incomprehensible plot, which involves investment banking scheming, hired muscle, and petty crime, all of which are somehow tied together. Honestly, and I’m a fairly intelligent guy, it was really hard to follow. This strange plot was made all the more strange by end credits that included “fun” factoids about government bailouts, CEO bonuses, the ratio of CEO to standard employee pay, etc. It was as though the filmmakers had stolen the end credits to a Michael Moore documentary.
Another issue was that both of the lead characters are somewhat annoying throughout, especially with Mark Wahlberg’s character, who is gratingly angry through the entirety of the film. Ferrell’s nebbish Gamble is somewhat redeemed from his nebbishness by a revelation about his character, and why he is the way he is, about two-thirds of the way through the movie.
The biggest problem, apart from the plotting, is that the film has no straight man. Even our heroes’ superior officer, played by Michael Keaton, is somewhat goofy. There is no anchor to even a semblance of reality throughout, and that can make the comedy overpower the rest of the film.
As I said before, though, I found it a very satisfying film. The befuddling plot didn’t bother me too much because the onscreen antics kept me laughing pretty much all the way through. (There is, at about 20 minutes in, one of the funniest scenes in recent movie history. You will know it when you see it.) For fans of this type of dumb humor, or Will Ferrell, The Other Guys is well worth a watch; for all others, enter at your own risk.
Posted on August 13, 2010, in Film Review and tagged Adam McKay, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, The Other Guys, Will Ferrell. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.