|The Other Guys|
Buy the soundtrack for The Other Guys
I’m not sure how to rate this movie. It started out brilliant, then lost all steam and comic coherence.
The opening sequence with The Rock and Samuel L Jackson spoofing themselves is a wonderful riot. The scenes between Will Ferrell and Mark Walhberg in the NYPD offices have some of the best humor seen this year.
Ferrell and Walhburg delight the viewer in their passive-aggressive and aggressive-aggressive differences. Characters Allen and Terry have just enough logic in their idiocy to lay the foundation for a completely enjoyable romp. The lion vs tuna discussion is easily the single best absurdist argument ever heard on film. A respectfully silent funeral brawl must be seen to be believed – that they pull it off, in context, cracks me up. And Micheal Keaton fantastically underplays some neo-dadist pop culture referencing that weirdly nutshells his career.
Then The Rock and Jackson do something so note perfect in a buddy/action cop movie, so funny and surreal, that it shocked me. Incredibly great stuff.
It’s all hugely funny. Until it falters. Somewhere along the way the movie becomes annoying; the jokes go limp…and the senseless plot becomes the driving force in what should have been a complete send up of the mismatched partners cop genre.
There’s a talent to writing a script using low-brow humor in a classic way, and The Other Guys stays in that perfect zone for about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, a few set pieces – the ex-girlfriend scene comes to mind – veer off into the form of crazy that isn’t funny. And most of the scenes with Ferrell and Eva Mendez, as the hot wife who takes his verbal abuse, get more embarrassing the longer they go on. Maybe the unfunny funny stuff is forgivable in a Will Ferrell movie.
What’s not forgivable: when Ferrell and director McKay forget their movie is a spoof, and elevate the flimsy plot with an attempt at serious follow-through. It’s just not that kind of film. The long running time (1 hour and 46 minutes by my count) absolutely could not support itself.
By the three quarter mark into the film, I was ready to leave. The humor wasn’t all that any more; the action wasn’t good enough to entertain. If I didn’t have to stay and monitor the end credits for RunPee, I’d have gone home. Barring a few good moments (Ferrell complaining that a real explosion hurts and the movies have it wrong, whining it’s not fair the bad guys have a helicopter), there’s nothing to actually miss. Including the interesting but depressing golden parachute powerpoint credits presentation, and the unfunny outtake tag.
So, how to rate The Other Guys? If the first act earns an A and the middle and end a C-, then I can live with a B- total score.
What did you think about The Other Guys? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.