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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.88%
Worth A Look79.41%
Average: 2.94%
Pretty Bad: 5.88%
Total Crap: 5.88%

4 reviews, 10 user ratings

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Other Guys, The
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by Erik Childress

"The Most Consistently Funny Film Of The Year To Date"
4 stars

If it is true what they say in that "comedy is hard" than reviewing comedy may actually be harder. Hearing that, George Bernard Shaw is probably trying to get the right angle on his spit from above on me (a more complicated task than dying, for sure) but perhaps he can forgive it when he understands the position is not meant as a "woe as me" suggestion. Laughter in many ways is the most subjective thing to interpret and attaching a star rating to make comparisons can make things even more confusing. Some comedies approach things from a more intellectual or satiric level like the recent In The Loop or Tropic Thunder. Others like those from the Judd Apatow portfolio combine modern guy-speak with elements of actual human feeling that transcend it from your average slob and gross-out laugh fests. Audiences may guffaw wildly at gatherings of Dinner for Schmucks and The Hangover, but I can make the case why the former fails as a farce and the latter fails at just about everything - especially comedy. Then you have the collaborations between Adam McKay and Will Ferrell which find a way to throw in a little bit of everything and be so consistently funny that the ease in which they do it practically spits in the face of Shaw.

P.K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson) are the top cops of the NYPD; the kind you only see in movies that will cause almost incalcuable property damage to catch a single car full of bad guys. Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are office flunkies by comparison. Terry is desperate to get back into the action of the streets after a bad shooting dubbed him the "Yankee Clipper." Allen is more than happy to sit at a desk being an accountant for law and order. And it makes Terry even crazier.

A case Allen has actually been pursuing involving architectural malfeasence turns out to involve big shot Wall Street investor, David Ershon (Steve Coogan). Little do they know he is involved, under duress from "head of security", Roger Wesley (Ray Stevenson, aka the 3rd Punisher), in a scheme to pay back about five nations of businessmen whom he lost billions of dollars for. In convincing him to take center stage for a change, Terry must confront some unbelievable truths about his partner such as Allen's ignorance to the dynamics of "good cop, bad cop", that his choice of adrenaline music makes the theme to Barney Miller seem like death metal and how Allen could not only have an impossibly hot and doting doctor wife (Eva Mendes), but that his Kavorka power over women actually brings him to consider her as "plain."

Much like their classic debut, Anchorman, there is a bit of a slapdash feel to The Other Guys' motion. The laughter flows so regularly though you may not realize until the end that the whole enterprise is almost like Inception's claim that you are never aware when a dream begins, you just find yourself in the middle of it. McKay and co-writer, Chris Henchy, hit the route of parody early on with Jackson & Johnson's opening chase and in some ways end it in spectacular fashion with their encore. The elements of the buddy cop movie have been skewered every which way and nobody will be ever to do it as well as the Naked Gun entities (including TV's Police Squad) and Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg's brilliant hybrid of Hot Fuzz. The Other Guys is smart to not just go down the same road and end up with a throwback as stale and witless as Kevin Smith's Cop Out earlier this year. (Tracy Morgan appropriately shows up in a silent cameo here.) Alternatively they wind up creating something wholly their own and find the subversive in the situations they fashion rather than making a commentary on others' work.

The McKay posse continues to grow at a rate that rivals the Apatow repertoire of regulars and between the two of them represent the two All-Star dugouts with a never-ending string of call-ups. Along with starting pitcher Ferrell, Rob Riggle continues to expand his roll in the lineup as part of another set of rival cops while Bobby Cannavale and Rob Huebel contribute with hilarious brief appearances. Wahlberg got some solid laughs bounced off him by Steve Carell earlier this year in Date Night and he is presented with generous lobs to play off of here as more than just the angry straight man. The Other Guys' clean-up hitter though without question is Michael Keaton, whom you may have blinked and missed in the trailer as the guys' captain. After years of alternating between less-than-noticed dramatic roles and the concerned dad to not-so-rising starlets in kiddie and tween projects, this may be the moment that people remember what a true comic talent this guy really is. Already doing fantastic work off-screen as the Ken doll in Toy Story 3, Keaton swoops into The Other Guys and at every opportunity with either a line, a reaction or playing up the recurring jokes about his moonlighting gig and music taste. The film is worth recommending just to see Keaton back in action.

The Other Guys is minute-for-minute the funniest live-action film released so far in 2010, supplanting Get Him To The Greek for that title. It only stumbles a bit during its final 20 minutes when one finale appears to be in place and is then trumped by an extension that doesn't quite hit its opportunities for satiric highs. People who have never (or would ever) sit through a Michael Moore film will probably be knocked back a bit when the film actually ends with a breakdown of ridiculous discrepancies in our economic trivialities and likely more stunned that they are paying attention after a film featuring a bum orgy. After the rather complicated banking plot that you're likely to be a few steps behind on when drowned out with laughter, there is something appreciable about the clarity of these numbers. Funny that any of our current ailing concerns would be taken with such sincerity after a long string of quips comparing the environmental-friendly Prius to a vagina. Maybe someone without a funny bone will breakdown all the hypocritical ironies of characters who change for the better to be mocked by the macho subset looking for action against the educated suits looking to rob them both blind in the midst of not being able to do their jobs properly. But most of us will be too busy laughing our heads off.

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originally posted: 08/06/10 14:00:00
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User Comments

3/02/16 Charles Tatum Nothing short of hilarious; better than Anchorman films 5 stars
11/18/11 mr.mike Ferrell's career is rapidly going the way of Chevy Chase's. 2 stars
1/15/11 ES It was really good, though the GF and gator subplots are flat comedy-wise and drag it down 4 stars
1/04/11 David Young Walberg/Ferrell chemistry was excellent. Constant laughs. 5 stars
12/10/10 rick This movie sucks. Mix Barney Miller with Airplane, the clash. Every character annoys 1 stars
9/20/10 Daniel Kelly Well worth a watch 4 stars
9/16/10 oz1701 it was cringeworthy 1 stars
9/01/10 Roy Smith You are all insane. 2 stars
8/08/10 Ronald Holst Funny I enjoyed it A bit campy but I did like it . 4 stars
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  06-Aug-2010 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Dec-2010


  DVD: 14-Dec-2010

Directed by
  Adam McKay

Written by
  Chris Henchy
  Adam McKay

  Will Ferrell
  Mark Wahlberg

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