The Other Guys
The Other Guys Directed by: Adam McKay Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes Running Time: 1 hr 47 mins Rating: PG-13 Release Date: August 6, 2010
PLOT: We've all heard of the best cops, but what about the other guys? Two cops (Ferrell and Wahlberg) are thrown together to try and become the top detectives in New York City. Things don't go as planned.
WHO'S IT FOR? Just like Dinner for Schmucks this is a very adult PG-13 with a lot of sexual jokes. Will Ferrell fans will get both versions of his comedy (the sweet and the angry).
EXPECTATIONS: Laughter. I had hopes for this one. It was in my TOP 7 Most Anticipated of the Summer. I root for Ferrell because of my love of all things "Saturday Night Live."
Will Ferrell as Allen Gamble: From the moment Allen is over-explaining why a tuna could beat a lion, I thought I was in for a treat. Unfortunately the treat didn't last forever. Allen is a nonsensical character, but he doesn't start out that way. An accountant for the police, he's plenty book smart and wants to stay out of trouble. There are definitely moments of comedy that come from Allen's dark past as Gator (pronounced Gader for affect). There are also moments of comedy that come from Allen's hot wife Dr. Sheila Gamble (Eva Mendes). These are simply moments. Highlight reels don't make a movie no matter how much we wish they would. Ferrell is the highlight of this film, but Allen Gamble won't be one of his most memorable. Score: 7
Mark Wahlberg as Terry Hoitz: I'm sure there are a couple of scenes on the cutting room floor that further explain Terry and his rage issues. Terry is the best of the best except for the fact that he shot a famous New York Yankee. That scene is given a lazy effort on the screen and it's translated to the rest of Terry as well. Sure, he too starts out strong screaming, "It's a bad time, Bob," simply because he's not done yelling at Allen. But there are too many times when he repeats the same joke. Score: 5
Samuel L. Jackson as Highsmith and Dwayne Johnson as Danson: Perfect (movie) cops think they are bullet proof. They can't be harmed. Nothing can touch them. This leads to a very funny scene early in the film. The one-liners are nice and forced during the opening scene where these two prove what kind of officers they are. Score: 6
Michael Keaton as Captain Gene: If it wasn't for Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island and Inception) this could be the year of Keaton. After all, wasn't Ken, voiced by Keaton, one of the best parts of Toy Story 3? And yes, he's good here, but the film just isn't up to snuff. Captain Gene has a second job at Bed Bath and Beyond which isn't mined for enough laughs. He also keeps "accidentally" using TLC lyrics to inspire. Maybe I just need more Keaton and less of Damon Wayans Jr. and Rob Riggle. Score: 7
TALKING: It is more the reaction or inflection compared to the actual joke made. For some unknown reason, Allen is a chick magnet. Yes, Wahlberg is great at giving a confused face, but is any particular line truly that funny during this running joke? Another situation has a whisper fight at a funeral. Again, the dialogue is weak, but the concept is funny. This seems to keep happening in this film. Plus, the overall story about investors ripping people off is a total dud. Score: 4
SIGHTS: There is one great visual moment where Allen and Terry go out for a night of drinking. You know those TNT promos for all of their new shows? It's the same thing. We are zooming through one still image and it's great. The opening action sequence is full of SCS (Shaky Camera Syndrome). McKay isn't an action director and that shows. Score: 5
SOUNDS: We're all over the place here. Yes, we have the TLC moments. There's plenty of Little River Band, but then that ruins the potential vibe/laughs of the song "Monday Monday." Phil Collins and some rap round us out. Will Ferrell co-wrote one of the songs but I've completely forgotten which one. Score: 5
BEST SCENE: Tuna vs. lion. It's the best of Ferrell. Plus, Wahlberg's face looks as confused as ever (which is saying something for him). The problem is, it's pretty much their first scene together. So, you keep waiting for more.
ENDING: During the credits, there are some statistics about how CEO's salaries have been increasing and things like that. So, apparently it's a movie with a message. At the very end of the credits, Wahlberg attempts to tell a joke about a moose.
QUESTIONS: As my friend pointed out, Samuel L. Jackson is now part of two of the most sudden deaths in movie history. Can you name the other? Why not go all out for jokes? Toss all logic out the window. There is so much more humor to mine about buddy cops not getting along. Why not stick to that and forget that stupid plot involving Steve Coogan? Seriously, Anne Heche? Two minutes? There's a moment that talks about Russian water, but then I assume a mistake in editing never explained the joke. Russian water = vodka.
REWATCHABILITY: I don't think so. Yes, I know I will laugh if I see it again. But not enough.
Last week we had Dinner for Schmucks. That movie world was surprisingly believable. The idiots were over the top, but they fit in that movie's reality. Plus, I never felt like I was waiting to laugh. Here, I feel like I was waiting to laugh. But even worse, I feel like the movie didn't create a believable reality. It's like they tried to cross Lethal Weapon and Naked Gun. They didn't end up with either, but just trying to switch back and forth. Allen is super nice to everyone at the police station, but then can't stop saying cruel things to his wife. This is for laughs, and McKay and company decided making sense didn't matter.
There are such lazy moments filling up time between the funny. A perfect example is when they all talk before they entire an audience and say, "Let's be quiet as church mice." Then there's gunfire, and the next line is "so much for quiet as church mice." That's just as bad as the sources it's supposedly inspired from. Plus, McKay and Ferrell forced in another angry man in the form of Gator this time around. It feels dated. It's weird, Ferrell is starting to feel like one of the other guys in the comedy world. He's still funny, but this film doesn't let him truly shine.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10