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Overall Rating
3.7

Awesome: 3.03%
Worth A Look81.82%
Average: 3.03%
Pretty Bad: 6.06%
Total Crap: 6.06%

4 reviews, 9 user ratings


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Other Guys, The
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Ferrell and McKay strike again."
4 stars

Part of the fun of "The Other Guys" is that its early scenes show you how bad it could’ve been.

We meet two supercops, played with supreme comedic arrogance by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, and you could almost write their movie in your head. But, true to its title, this film is actually about two other guys, police accountant Will Ferrell and busted-down cop Mark Wahlberg. This isn’t exactly the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead of cop-buddy films, since Jackson and Johnson go out of the picture fairly early on, but we do feel as though a rote action-comedy has taken a sharp left turn and occupied itself with two schlubs on the margins.

The result is a fast-punching farce with a serious devotion to the random. This is the usual modus operandi of director Adam McKay, a frequent Ferrell collaborator (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers). We get, for instance, a running gag involving homeless guys having orgies in Ferrell’s car. Or Eva Mendes, as Ferrell’s wife, singing a little ditty called “Pimps Don’t Cry.” Ferrell has torn his clothes off and bounced off the walls in other movies, but there isn’t a lot of slapstick in The Other Guys; the humor is more verbal, even conceptual. When Wahlberg tries to intimidate Ferrell with an absurd analogy involving a lion and tuna, and Ferrell tops it by refuting it in such detail that he seems to have given it weeks of thought, we know we’re not in the same country as something like Cop Out.

There’s a plot here, but we ignore it at our peril, since it actually bears some relevance to current events; it involves various machinations by slickster magnate Steve Coogan, who owes serious money and hopes to get clear by hijacking people’s pensions. During the end credits, we get stats on exactly how much money was poured into the banking bail-outs. A bit weighty for a movie featuring hobo orgies, we might think, but actually the whole movie proceeds from a working-stiff resentment of the flashy and powerful. The supercops Jackson and Johnson, for instance, wreak $12 million worth of property damage in their attempt to take down some low-level pot dealers. I don’t know how persuasive this point can be when made by a movie that reportedly cost $100 million — a ridiculous budget for a comedy — but the point is made just the same.

Wahlberg makes a decent straight-man foil for Ferrell; his smitten scenes opposite Ferrell’s unexpectedly hot wife are probably his best. Ferrell is on his game, getting a lot of comic mileage out of an almost surrealistically dull character. But The Other Guys endears itself the most by returning Michael Keaton to hilarious prominence. Keaton plays the guys’ precinct captain, who has a side job unrevealed by me, and who seems to have a thing about people standing too close to him. Despite his limited screen time, Keaton creates a real, quirky person here, and he seems hungry as an actor again, this year’s answer to Mickey Rourke or Robert Downey Jr., except that he didn’t blow his career with drugs or bad behavior — the phone just stopped ringing.

If "The Other Guys" does nothing else, let’s hope it makes Keaton’s phone start sounding off again.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=19526&reviewer=416
originally posted: 08/09/10 13:22:23
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User Comments

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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