Saturday, August 14, 2010
The Other Guys
Summary: Detectives Allen Gamble (Will Farrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are two mismatched partners serving in the NYPD. Both men seize the opportunity to become a pair of New York’s Finest by solving a case no one else seems to care about.
Plot (B+): In this world of the NYPD there are many different types of cops. There are the go-getters (played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) who chase down criminals at whatever cost and are idolized by everyone. They never do any paper work and leave behind millions of dollars of destruction. There are the suck ups and wannabe’s who desperately ache to be like their heroes but fall a bit short. Then there are the other guys who everyone makes fun of and pushes their paper on. Obviously, I’m talking about Farrell and Wahlberg’s characters. The Other Guys is a funny movie with creative and diverse comedic scenes, which properly lives up to previous Farrell/Adam McKay movies. What I liked about the film was how far fetched certain things were. It was clear that The Other Guys was making fun of other cop movies but this was done with such creativity and humor that it worked. The plot itself is pretty easy to follow but it didn’t grab me completely. What I really liked was each character’s past, especially Farrell’s because it was pretty outrageous. It is clear that Hoitz and Gamble are partners who have not been together for years. It seems that they’ve been working together for weeks or a few months so there is a lot of tension particularly stemming from Wahlberg’s Hoitz. It is this aspect that sets the tone for their rocky relationship.
While I’ll definitely say the film was funny I was expecting to laugh harder and/or more. Don’t get me wrong I laughed throughout the entire film and so was the rest of the audience but I guess I was expecting something closer to Step-Brothers where I would have lost my breath at one point. However, I think this film may suffer from the Tropic Thunder Syndrome, meaning it was SO MUCH funnier the second and third time than the first. What definitely hurt the film was its rating. The film was rated PG-13 and I think it would have been a lot better if was rated R. Even though the characters were saying “shit” all the time there wasn’t one F-bomb. Now dropping fuck bombs doesn't mean a movie will be better or funnier but I feel that they could have crossed the line a few times and it would have been golden. But all in all a good film.
Action (B): There was nothing overly fancy about action in the movie. Although I appreciated what was delivered it was relatively standard. Like I said above, certain things were far fetched but worked well for the type of movie it was.
Acting & Dialogue (B/B+): At first people may think that Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg would not work well together as a comedic team. Well, let me be the first to tell you that’s certainly not true. I really liked their chemistry since it was so fresh. Wahlberg is an underrated comedic actor who really knows what he’s doing. He played Hoitz as the traditional tough ass New York cop who was on his way to becoming one of the best the city has to offer until he committed the most unthinkable act against a man who’s so revered and so loved in the Big Apple. As for Farrell, well he’s Farrell. He was great as usual and played Gamble as the most plain and straight-laced detective due to some past experiences in his life. Gamble would rather clean his desk and organize his filing cabinet instead of chasing the bad guys. What will perplex you, as much as it does Hoitz, is that Gamble is the biggest chick magnet ever. Super hot women just flock to him and he’s is completely unaware of his mystical powers, which makes his marriage to Eva Mendes’ character so funny. Their relationship is normal but not normal at the same time. It was this element, which made Farrell’s character so unique. There are also other pairs of comedic team who were funny and entertaining such as Rob Riggle (Step-Brothers, The Hangover), Damon Wayans Jr. (who is a spitting image of his father), and Jackson and Johnson. However, in my opinion, the unofficial shinning star of this film was not Farrell or Wahlberg. It was Michael Keaton. Keaton played Captain Gene Mauch and if you watch his scenes closely you'll laugh pretty hard. He speaks his mind on just about everything and somehow unknowingly relates it to a specific 90’s female R & B group. Keaton has become extremely selective over the past few years with the movies he stars in so I felt it was a real treat to see him in a comedy again. I’ve always believed he has done a fantastic job with comedies and I was happy to see that he still has it.
Sex Appeal (6): Having Eva Mendes reference and grab her breasts deserves at least a 6 in my book.
Director (B/B+): Six years ago Adam McKay graced audiences with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and since that movie we’ve been getting dynamite films from him. His relationship with Will Farrell is something very special. The reason why they continue to work together is that they understand each other and share the same vision when it comes to comedy. While I can’t say this is the best movie of the Farrell/McKay team it was very good and certainly lived up to expectations. Although, McKay doesn’t really dabble in special effects there’s one particular scene that I felt was extraordinary and was labeled by Entertainment Weekly as the Summer Movie Moment. It centers on a night of debauchery between the two main stars. It’s not so much what they are doing but rather how the scene was shot. It was extremely creative and original. Instead of trying to explain it myself I will quote writer Keith Staskiewicz of EW since he wrote it so clearly, “So he (McKay) decided on a single tracking shot that, using a special camera to minimize changes from take to take, depicted the characters’ increasingly drunken revelry in a series of frozen scenes. To film the sequence, the actors had to hold their compromising positions for long periods of time.” This may not make sense to you now but when you see the movie it will and you’ll appreciate it.
Overall: B/B+…Like I said in the Plot section this film may suffer from the Tropic Thunder Syndrome and probably is funnier after repeated viewing so therefore the grade could rise. If you’ve seen it more than once let me know.