Apr 25, 2011

[Movies] The Other Guys (2010)

The Other Guys (2010)I'm not much of a Will Ferrell fan, quite frankly. As much as I love Saturday Night Live and I appreciate their unique brand of humor, it doesn't necessarily mean that I automatically love every single actor who has been a part of the cast. And Will Ferrell's humor always felt more slapstick that witty for me, and that never works for me. The movie that he was in that I actually liked was Stranger Than Fiction, and that's because it was more of a drama than a comedy. Go figure.

On a similar vein, I've never been too big a fan of buddy cop movies either. It's not that I don't like them or anything like that - they're just not quite the kind of movies that I naturally gravitate towards. Sure, I've seen the Lethal Weapon series of films, but mainly because I watched them together with my family and not out of individual interest.

So why did I watch this movie despite the presence of both elements plus Mark Wahlberg? It's hard to explain, really. I guess I thought the concept behind it was novel enough but naturally the execution was disappointing as expected. I really ought to stick to smarter comedic fare in the future.

The Other Guys is a 2010 comedy movie written by Chris Henchy together with Adam McKay, who also directed the movie. McKay is a frequent collaborator with Will Ferrell given past movies where they worked together, namely Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers.

Here Will Ferrell plays conservative and nerdy Allen Gamble, who is actually a forensic accountant. His partner is Detective Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), who was forced into that role after shooting star shortstop Derek Jeter during the World Series. The entire police force practically idolizes detectives Chris Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and P.K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) despite the massive amounts of property damage they end up causing whenever they solve a case or apprehend some sort of a criminal. But in a strange jewelry heist pursuit, the two end up leaping to their deaths.

Now the entire department is trying to figure out who will be the next "star" detectives to fill their shoes. Terry is determined to finally get that kind of recognition but naturally Allen isn't quite up to that sort of thing. Their main rivals now are detectives Martin (Rob Riggle) and Fosse (Damon Wayans, Jr.), who often ridicule Allen and Terry. Their big case becomes investigating a scaffolding permit violation by billionaire business man David Ershon (Steve Coogan), which eventually leads to a much bigger crime in the making.

Thus the reference to "other guys" in the title - thus the movie did seem interesting in trying to present what happens to all the other cops involved in a precinct with over-the-top cops like we normally see in comedic action movies. But in this regard the end delivery wasn't anything amazing and instead if felt all drawn out and draggy for the most part. It's hard to figure out precisely where the problem lies - more likely it's a compound issue.

First, the best part of the movie happened to be the crazy antics involving The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. Seriously, you can't go wrong with these two guys embracing how crazy their typical movie characters tend to be. But by killing them of in the first act, the movie lost a lot of its comedic appeal and a potentially more interesting story angle to pursue. I would have liked to see the two "lesser" detectives find a way to rise above the star and glamor of the front line detectives.

The Other GuysImage by WorthingTheatres via FlickrInstead we get this convoluted plot where we're constantly saddled with how slow and intellectual Allen is and how gung-ho and stupid Terry is. And it wasn't even an overly believable depiction of their character growth either. I mean come on, you even have ridiculous non sequiturs such as how Allen has an incredibly hot wife in the form of Eva Mendes and the running gag of how women are always attracted to Allen and not Terry.

I'm not sure how the movie was supposed to be funny in the latter acts. It wasn't trying to be slapstick, which might have worked on some level. It wasn't being the least bit smart or witty either given the lack of good banter. Instead it was a lengthy Prius commercial with a few car stunts and very little else.

The only good thing that my partner and I were able to appreciate ab out the whole thing is the fact that a lot of the stunts were live-action and didn't overly rely on CGI. Definitely good credit to the director for going in that direction instead of the safety of artificial graphics.

The Other Guys is a pretty lame comedy as far as they come and I hope that in the future people come up with something better. I doubt it though, for as long as Will Ferrell movies continue to bring in big money for some insane reason. This film gets 1 crazy stunt involving Dwayne Johnson and Samuel Jackson out of 5.

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