Monday, August 9, 2010

The Other Guys: Review

The Other Guys: Poster | A Constantly Racing Mind
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of Will Ferrell.  I do like a couple of his films, such as "Elf" and "Old School."  Other than those two, I haven't really cared for much of his other work.  I watched about the first 10 minutes of "Anchorman," but couldn't handle any more; I turned it off and never looked back.  Will Ferrell is an acquired taste.  Teaming up with Ferrell is Mark Wahlberg ("Shooter," "The Departed ") as the has been cop now stuck with Ferrell who refuses to take no risks. "The Other Guys" is a cop buddy movie where two opposite personalities are teamed together and mayhem and laughter are expected to follow.  "The Other Guys" is funny, but not that funny and Wahlberg doesn't help much with the comedy.

What would it be like to for Samuel L. Jackson, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson teamed together in an action picture, to see them taking out bad guys in "Lethal Weapon" action style of filmmaking?  Well...  "The Other Guys" provides us with that glimpse for the first 10 minutes.  We see high-powered action, clich├ęd buddy dialog, and one hell of a romp that these two Rock Star Police Officers lead the charge.  What we are left with is Will Ferrell, and Markey Mark reciting ridiculous dialog and nonsensical situations that in themselves have a tendency to provide a steady pace of chuckles that flows throughout the film.  I have to admit that although the plot is ridiculous and predictable, Will Farrell is funny as he plays the straight-man in this film, leaving Owen Wilson-esque lines for Wahlberg to utter and thus the joke is on Mark not on Will.  Michael Keaton plays Glen, their police squad captain seems like he is ad-libbing lines left and right trying to up with the scene.  I don't know if this was intentional but Keaton's portrayal was hilarious.

The Other Guys: Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell | A Constantly Racing Mind

The flaw for "The Other Guys" is in the thin storyline that screenwriters Adam McKay and Chris Henchy try to flesh out Ferrell's natural comedic pacing.  In this case, it seems that Will isn't given enough material to keep the laughs coming with out, instead he is running constantly into awkward pauses that take the actors a beat to recover  I get what McKay is trying to do a "Lethal Weapon" reverse parody, but it doesn't quite work.  I sense that the pacing of the jokes and the editing of the scenes don't seem to be in harmony.  What is funny, but not played on enough, was that they had Michael Keaton working an extra job to pay for his gay son to go to college.  Rob Riggle ("Knight and Day") and Damon Wayans Jr. performances were pedestrian at best and predictable.  Steve Coogan was in fact an asset as the weasel stockbroker out of a Charles Dickens’s story.  Eva Mendes was just pure eye candy to distract us from the obvious lack of story, but that's okay.

As usual, Adam McKay treats this movie like a TV segment, and it feels this way to the audience.  Mark Wahlberg’s character sliding down a table, arms spread wide taking out the bad guys is extremely unlikely and takes the viewer is just to ridiculous for a viewer to suspend their belief any longer.  In contrast, When Ferrell is given a wooden gun and Wahlberg says "but that’s just a wooden gun," inviting a smack in the face with said wooden gun by Ferrell is funny.  Explosions and stunt effects for the film seem to be on par on what we expect in films today.  As a parody of "Lethal Weapon," I don't think it measures up.  As a typical buddy film, "The Other Guys" also falls short.  Should you watch this film at the theater?  I say no.  Wait for the DVD or Blu-ray and give it a shot there.  You are not missing much.

Movie Data
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Year:  2010
Staring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Damon Wayans Jr.
Director: Adam McKay
Producer(s): Patrick Crowley, Will Ferrell,  Adam McKay, Jimmy Miller
Writer: Adam McKay, Chris Henchy
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 116 minutes
Release Date: 8/6/2010

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