Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
|Featuring:||Michael Keaton, Mark Wahlberg (Detective Terry Hoitz), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Danson), Will Ferrell (Detective Allen Gamble), Samuel L. Jackson (Highsmith), Lindsay Sloane (Francine), Ray Stevenson (Wesley), Eva Mendes (Sheila Gamble), Craig Robinson, Anne Heche, Paris Hilton (Jane), Steve Coogan (David Ershon), Rob Riggle (Detective Evan Martin), Rob Huebel (Officer Watts), Damon Wayans Jr. (Fosse), more »|
|Producer:||Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, more »|
|Distributor:||Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures|
“There are good cops and there are bad cops… and then there’s The Other Guys.”
In 2004, “Saturday Night Live” writer Adam McKay and former SNL actor Will Ferrell teamed up and made the movie “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Absurd, hilarious, and sometimes inappropriate, “Anchorman” was hugely successful, and, over the years, has become the “cult classic” of its generation. Since then, Ferrell has tried to duplicate the success of that film. With each attempt, he has been less and less successful, churning out mostly unfunny movies like “Talladega Nights,” “Blades of Glory,” “Semi-Pro,” and “Step Brothers.” While some of these films were hits at the box office, they relied more and more on disgusting humor and were not nearly as memorable as the far superior “Anchorman.” Rejoining with director McKay, Ferrell’s new film “The Other Guys” doesn’t quite recapture the magic of Ron Burgundy, but it’s easily funnier than anything he’s made since then.
Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz aren’t what you would consider super cops. Gamble (Ferrell) has just been transferred to the NYPD from the Forensics Accounting department, and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) has never been forgiven after accidentally shooting Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter before game 7 of the World Series. Together, they are the least successful partnership in the NYPD. They sit by while everyone else, particularly the unbeatable duo of Highsmith and Danson (played hilariously by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), do the exciting police work.
That’s the situation until Gamble and Hoitz stumble upon a big case. It seems that multi-billionaire David Ershon (Steve Coogan) is up to no good. While they can’t quite put their finger on what it is, Hoitz and Gamble begin to uncover a massive Ponzi Scheme similar to that of Bernie Madoff.
If this plot sounds like a generic buddy-cop type movie similar to “Lethal Weapon”, that’s because it is. The only difference is that Ferrell and McKay successfully inject “The Other Guys” with enough humor and absurdity to turn the genre completely on its head. From the cliché detective speak to the outrageous car chase scenes and explosions, it’s clear that they’ve done their homework on just how a movie like this should look and feel. In fact, they’ve mirrored the genre so much that there are some stretches in the film that feel too much like one of those films and not enough like a comedy.
When it doesn’t get bogged down with too much action, “The Other Guys” delivers hilarious moments that fans of Ferrell expect. Ferrell does his normal shtick while Mark Wahlberg gets plenty of laughs playing off of his reputation of being a very serious action star. The rest of the cast is spot on as well. From the hilarious Michael Keaton as Captain Mauch who works as a police captain as well as a manager at Bed Bath & Beyond, to Eva Mendes as Ferrell’s “plain” wife, the supporting performers add to the hilarity.
Just like the previous efforts of McKay and Ferrell, “The Other Guys” does contain some content issues. There no are sex scenes or nudity, but there are several scenes with sexual dialogue. Strong language is present throughout the film but they do stay away from the f-word and there’s only one occurrence of “G__ D___”. There’s no doubt that crass behavior is present in “The Other Guys”, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for the comedic pairing. The content is relatively clean compared to the likes of “Step Brothers”, “Semi-Pro”, and even “Talladega Nights”. Not only is this film cleaner than those, it’s also funnier. Hopefully, Ferrell and McKay will realize that dirtier movies don’t necessarily make funnier ones.
Maybe it’s because I just reviewed “Dinner For Schmucks” last weekend, but I was pleasantly surprised with the content of “The Other Guys”. Compared to that Steve Carrell vehicle, this one seemed rather tame. Another step in the right direction is the positive content found in the film. While there’s nothing ground breaking here, the praise of honesty, hard work, and the “average joe’s” of the world are something you don’t usually find in a Ferrell comedy. The film also showcases somewhat of a social conscience, showing graphs during the credits on how little money police officers are making in comparison to the executives of companies like AIG.
For fans of Ferrell and McKay, “The Other Guys” will meet and exceed their expectations. For everyone else, the results will be mixed. Just like their original hit “Anchorman”, “The Other Guys” has plenty of quotable scenes but also has some material that should make parents think twice before sending their teenager.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate