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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bringing In The Other Guys Was A Solid Choice

The Other Guys: 3 1/2 out of 5 Stars

Terry Hoitz: Shut. Up. Allen Gamble: Some day I'm going to crawl over your wall of anger.

Here's a genre mix - A fanciful comedy set in the world of a gritty buddy cop film. I say this because this movie never tries to make its world feel real, despite being filmed as if it were from the door steps of a Michael Mann cop drama. Instead, we have a film that deals with the basic tropes of a buddy cop film, and pokes fun at them, as well as injects a good amount of absurdest humor that many Will Ferrell films have been known for.


In New York City, Terry Hoitz's (Wahlberg) past mistakes in the line of duty and Allen Gamble's (Ferrell) reluctance to take risks have landed them the roles of the "Other Guys", disgraced police detectives relegated to filling out paperwork for cocky hero cops Danson and Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson). The mismatched duo must look past their differences when they take on a high-profile investigation of shady capitalist David Ershon (Steve Coogan) and attempt to fill the shoes of the notoriously reckless officers they idolize.
Terry Hoitz: Captain, I'm a peacock, you've gotta let me fly on this one!
Captain: Peacocks don't fly Terry, they don't.
Allen Gamble: They can kinda fly captain.
Captain: They fly as much as a penguin.
The movie's opening sequence should really set the tone for this film. It's an over-the-top action sequence involving Jackson and The Rock. It's a completely ridiculous scene in a movie full of ridiculous scenes. And then you get to the characters played by Ferrell and Wahlberg, who bring their random chemistry together. This film was directed by Adam McCay, who has previously directed Ferrell in Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. Regardless of how some feel about Ferrell films, he's at least in the hands of his best collaborator.




As far as these two leads go, Ferrell actually plays it somewhat different (although not that much), as a mild mannered man, who gets more and more into action cop mode. Wahlberg is a little more tricky to judge here. I like Wahlberg in general, but he seems like the kind of guy who can make fun of you, but if you do it back to him, he'll take it personal. Due to that, he only has a few moments where he really shines, but seeming him exasperated about Ferrell's character is always pretty enjoyable.
Allen Gamble: You learned how to dance sarcastically?
There's a great supporting cast, which includes Eva Mendes as Ferrell's wife, who is both game for the humor of this type of movie and incredibly hot, as one would hope; and also Michael Keaton as the captain, who is forced to work two jobs for a very funny reason, that only he can really describe well. Some other familiar faces pop up along the way as well.




Given that this is a movie from the same team as Talladega and Step Brothers, it is a comedy that pretty much shoots as many rounds as it can in terms of laughs and hopes that most of it sticks. For the most part it does, but there are areas that aren't as successful. It comes down to who likes and responds to what, but I suspect that I will be finding more and more to like on repeated viewings, as I tend to with these types of films. This is clearly a film that will be packing a bunch of extra content when it arrives on Blu Ray.
(About Allen's Prius) Terry Hoitz: I feel like we're literally driving around in a vagina.
The only other area that this film gets bogged down in is its plotting. This is a trickier area to judge, because the film kinda functions as a spoof of the buddy cop genre, but the film uses white collar crime as a large focus of its story, eventually wrapping itself up quite a lot in the details involved (including an end credit sequence that is quite bizarre). Because of this, the film feels longer than it should be, but I can't exactly complain about the film having no plot.

Still, there is so much good stuff here that mostly outweighs its problems. The film is frequently funny (and will probably end up being more so down the road). There is a great cast in play here, with some standout work and great lines of dialogue. I didn't put too much focus on this, but the actual filmmaking here, is quite good as well; with a few dashes of solid action and its whole approach to this genre of movie.

All around - very solid.
Allen Gamble: Gator's bitches always carry jimmys!

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