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Overall Rating
3.74

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 Peter Sobczynski

"Cop In"
4 stars

Considering the fact that this summer hasn’t exactly provided moviegoers with a bumper crop of comedy films to choose from--surprisingly few have been released and most of those that have (such as “Get Him to the Greek,” “Grown Ups” and “Dinner for Schmucks”) haven’t exactly scaled the heights of hilarity, it almost seems like a backhanded compliment at best to suggest that the new Will Ferrell vehicle “The Other Guys” might be the funniest film of the summer. And yet, it turns out to be a surprisingly hilarious romp through the buddy-cop action-comedy genre that transcends its achingly familiar premise and the inexplicably lame trailers with a lot of big laughs, a healthy number of smaller ones and a blessedly small number of dead spots. In other words, it couldn’t be further from the comedic dead zone that was “Cop Out” if it tried.

Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star as Allen Gamble & Terry Holtz, a pair of New York City cops who aren’t the ones on the streets making highly publicized arrests and causing lots of property damage like super cops Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson)--Gamble is a former police accountant content to live in the shadows and do the dull paperwork that the hotshots wouldn’t dream of wasting time on while Holtz is a wannabe who was busted down to riding a desk after an incident that should make this film enormously popular in the Boston area. When one of Highsmith & Danson’s pursuits winds up putting them out of commission in spectacular fashion, there is a power void in the department and Holtz is determined that he and Gamble are the ones to fill it. Unfortunately for them, their first attempt to take on a case winds up with most of the collected evidence spread atop and under Gamble’s Prius after a mishap and after that, the only case they can grab involves someone who forgot to fill out the proper paperwork regarding scaffolding at some construction sites. However, this seemingly dead-end case gets a little more interesting when the accused turns out to be David Ershon (Steve Coogan), a Madoff-like financial advisor who needs to come up with $32 billion dollars quickly in order to pay off some bad investments to extremely disgruntled clients. Gamble & Holtz are sure that he is up to something dirty and nothing will get in the way of them bringing him down except for such things as Gamble’s wooden gun, Holtz’s insistence that peacocks can fly and a basic disagreement over what constitutes the proper music to get fired up to before a bust.

“The Other Guys” marks the fourth big-screen collaboration between Farrell and co-writer/director Adam Mckay, following “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights” and “Step Brothers,” and it is by far their most successful venture since “Anchorman.” Like that one, the film has an unerring way of scoring laughs out of the most unexpected material--half the time, you aren’t laughing so much at the material (though it is funny) as much as you are at the idea that people would actually dream up such insane stuff in the first place. Another way in which it compares favorably to “Anchorman” is in the fact that while Ferrell is clearly the comedic motor driving the project, it makes room for virtually the entire cast to score laughs as well-- to name just a few, Wahlberg shows a definite flair for madcap comedy here, Eva Mendes is equally amusing as Ferrell’s ridiculously beautiful and accomplished wife and Michael Keaton steals virtually all of his scenes so deftly that you will once again find yourself wishing that someone would put him front and center of a comedy once again. Unlike “Talladega Nights” and “Step Brothers,” McKay brings some needed discipline to the material--while those films often felt like a collection of extended improv sessions instead of an actual story, there is a reasonably tight narrative structure that keeps things moving forward despite the wild digressions.

Of course, I suspect that there are very few of you who are interested in seeing this film for the storytelling prowess--you want to know if it is funny or not. I assure you, it is frequently hilarious and while I wouldn’t dream of giving away any of the jokes, I will make glancing reference to some of the points that amused me the most. I liked the way the film used Trump Tower early in the proceedings, though I have to wonder whether it was Donald or one of his rivals who paid for the product placement. I liked the swan song of the super cops. I liked the sight of Gamble’s Prius driving down the street after the mishap at the crime scene. I liked the extended sequence when our heroes slowly but surely begin to realize that they may have been receiving bribes from the shifty financier. I liked the bit where Gamble flashes back to the traumatic incident that inspired him to become a police accountant and I especially liked the highly unexpected musical interlude between him and his wife that is inspired by these memories. Best of all, I liked the apparently improvised dialogue between Ferrell and Wahlberg involving a tuna and a lion that gets so twisted that it is a miracle that they managed to keep straight faces throughout. Hell, even the bonus material that plays during and after the end credits is more inspired than usual.

“The Other Guys” is admittedly uneven in some places. There are times when it seems to take its financial chicanery plotting more seriously than is really necessary and like most action-comedies, it kind of slacks off a bit during the final reels when the action begins to dominate the proceedings--as this film once again proves, there is very little discernible difference between ironic gunshots and car crashes and those of the unironic variety. Regardless, when this movie is funny, it is really funny and it is never less than amusing the rest of the time. Earlier in this review, I claimed that this is pretty much the funniest movie of the summer. Now that I think about it, there is a good chance that it may actually be the funniest film of the year to date, depending on where you stand on “Step Up 3D,” of course.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=19526&reviewer=389
originally posted: 08/06/10 14:39:58
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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
8/13/10 PAUL SHORTT AMUSING SATIRE ON THE BUDDY-COP ACTION-COMEDY GENRE 3 stars
8/08/10 Ronald Holst Funny I enjoyed it A bit campy but I did like it . 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Aug-2010 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Dec-2010

UK
  N/A

Australia
  06-Aug-2010
  DVD: 14-Dec-2010


Directed by
  Adam McKay

Written by
  Chris Henchy
  Adam McKay

Cast
  Will Ferrell
  Mark Wahlberg



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