Review: The Other Guys

It’s been a good long while since we’ve been treated to a decent buddy cop movie. Well, now we have, and even a little more than decent.

Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, who previously did Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, try their best at the buddy cop formula…succeeding a lot and failing at a little. But as a child of the Lethal Weapon and Beverley Hills Cop movies, it’s been a long time coming.

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THE SETUP:
Highsmith and Danson (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) are action heroes and everything cops want to be: reckless, explosive, funny and sexy to the ladies. And then, there are the other guys, Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz (Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg), who are the butt of office pranks while never seeming to catch a break. When there is suddenly an opportunity to step up, it’s the department, special forces, and Ferrell’s and Hoitz’s pasts that stand in the way. Can they get along long enough to do something about it?

THE THOUGHTS:
Adam McKay can do comedy (look at what he’s done) so it’s interesting to see him take what he’s great at and infuse it into such a traditional genre. It works. As random as some things are, especially with Ferrell’s character, it just endears the audience to him more.

The two leads are great. We expect this from Ferrell but Wahlberg stands out as actually quite funny. His angry, frustrated cop and absolute exasperation at dealing with his partner is hilarious, especially trying to understand how Eva Mendes is married to the guy. A buddy cop movie is made or broken by the that relationship and in that, they succeed.

The rest of the cast has their moments. It’s always good to see Michael Keaton, even when he’s done such crap over the last few years. He plays the police chief as the usual cliché but I don’t think we really want more than that. The competing cop team of Ron Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr. pop in for the obvious ridicule but they never really have much to do beyond make fun of the leads. Would have been nice for a bit more of the competition between the teams to show.

Funny? Yes. Really funny? Sometimes. Not every joke hits and there was never a point where I was laughing out loud but the story is interesting, the characters are likeable and there a bit of action thrown in. I liked it fine.

THE OTHER GUYS Rating:
3 stars – good movie, take a friend. Wahlberg is funny, Ferrell is hilarious, and they play great off each other, but with a run-time of 107 minutes, it still felt long.  It definitely had a lot more hits than misses and with such a lame parade of summer movies, you should spend some time with the other guys.

Random Recommendations
Johnny Dangerously (1984) – Who doesn’t love a dark, slapstick gangster comedy? Over the top and hilarious, this movie remind us how great Michael Keaton can be, Marilu Henner was hot and Joe Piscopo use to be a comedic actor. Quote: “My mother slapped me once…once.” Turn the brain off, especially the part for political correctness, and enjoy.

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Three Kings (1999) – Wahlberg did a couple of great movies that cemented him as a more serious actor, A Perfect Storm and Three Kings. Put George Clooney, Ice Cube and Wahlberg in the middle of the Gulf War, add stolen Iraqi gold and the crazy-ass director of I Heart Huckabees (there’s a great YouTube video with Lily Tomlin you should see) and you have a surprisingly funny, thought-provoking movie.

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 Review: The Other Guys
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