Friday, August 6, 2010



I got conned into seeing this film by turning up at the theater with friends to see another film, and going along to get along when everybody else decided to change films and go in to see The Other Guys.

First, we’d arrived late and the theatre was packed, forcing us to sit near the front – an almost guarantee I’m going to have a horrible film experience. Second, I’d almost rather have an eye put out than go and see a Will Ferrell film (his so called comedies anyway – his one straight film, Stranger Than Fiction, is outstanding). And third, the trailer for The Other Guys made it seem like a completely lame cop spoof.

I really, really, really wanted to hate this movie – but I just couldn’t.

While I didn’t laugh myself silly or anything, I did righteously chuckle my way through 80% of the scenes. Both Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg carry the film with some acting professionalism that was slyly impressive.

The Other Guys are Ferrell and Wahlberg, much-scorned desk jockeys in the New York Police Department. But when the city's two most celebrated cops, a pair of idiotic Lethal Weapon-type showboaters (Dwanye Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson), are put out of commission (thankfully killed off), it's up to Ferrell and Wahlberg, the very unlikely heroes, to save the day – if, of course, they can keep from killing each other first.

The big plus of The Other Guys, is that in the midst of all the stupidity there is actually some sharp satire and irony scattered about, along with some devastating one-liners. This is a big surprise in a world filled with the infantile sex jokes, drinking jokes, and toilet humor excesses in the films of Judd Apatow and company, which currently pass as funny - but aren't.

Ferrell and Wahlberg have an unusual, but effective comic chemistry. The film craftily parodies buddy-cop movie clich├ęs while going over the top to spoof the action spectacles gracing movie screens every summer. The Other Guys is also different in that it contains a surprisingly pointed and political subtext about the biggest crimes committed in New York – on Wall Street – a point brought home like a wrecking ball for anyone who sits through (and you should) the final credits.

I didn’t want my ticket money back at the end of the film as I expected. As a result, I give The Other Guys a careful thumbs up, which I will deny giving if anyone tells.


Mel Odom said...

Haven't seen STRANGER THAN FICTION, but I have to admit that I liked TALLADEGA NIGHTS. Gary Cole is awesome, and the whole spoof of NASCAR was just hilarious. And ELF was funny.

I don't like Ferrell as an actor either, but I've heard he can act. He just gets movies that I wouldn't watch. Doesn't matter who the star would be. I'll check this one out. I like Wahlberg and thought this pairing was a mistake.

bish8 said...

Okay, I admit I also liked Elf. If you haven't seen Stranger Than Fiction, it's a must DVD rental - a real writer's film.