HUB Titles: The Other Guys
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay like to work together. They’ve been through “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” and “Step Brothers” as a team. McKay writes and Will Ferrell does what he does. So did they make comedy gold with “The Other Guys”? Not exactly, but in the Summer of Few Laughs, they really didn’t need to.
The Premise: New York detectives Danson (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Highsmith (SAMUEL! L! JACKSON!) are the coolest dudes around. They walk the walk, talk the talk, do the dew, and walk away from explosions without looking back. Men want to be them, women want to be with them, and animals want to learn how to talk to hang out with them. But this isn’t their story. No, this is the story of the guys who get to fill out the paperwork that pays for the damages caused from cold hard justice. Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are those other guys. And today is their day to be heroes. Bumbling, hilarious heroes.
The Performance: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg work great as a comedy duo here. Ferrell plays the mild mannered Gamble who wants to stay at his desk and fill out tax returns in triplicate. Wahlberg’s Hoitz hates Gamble intensely but is assigned as his partner because of a demotion. Hoitz takes a big case and does his best to get back to the action packed part of law enforcement. Gamble does his best to unintentionally kill that dream forever. Ferrell plays the dimwit reminiscent of “Step Brothers” while Wahlberg plays a sarcastic parody of the disgraced detective. Wahlberg does his best here but the laughs will be 75/25 to Ferrell’s advantage. Wahlberg ties some of the supporting cast in funny jokes. It’s the Will Ferrell Show in this one.
Other Thoughts: No offense to “The Other Guys” but I want to see the movie this film joked about. JACKSON! and The Rock were in every commercial and trailer I remember seeing and their cameo in this movie was much too brief. It sets the bar very high right from the start that the rest of the film has to live up to. I really want to see “The Guys” and so will you after watching the awesome opening of this flick. As for the comedy itself, when the jokes are good, they are very good. When the jokes are bad, they are longwinded expositional dialogue. There are whole sections of the movie were you can almost see the actors pause for breath to explain the convoluted plot. Slapstick moments of Gamble’s car getting more and more destroyed are in between confusing details of the investment scheme our heroes are trying to prevent. We really don’t need a comedy plot to be so complicated. I can’t laugh and think at the same time. It’s simply asking too much.
Final Verdict: The Roller Coaster. The excitement comes and goes in spurts. One minute, you’re really enjoying yourself; the next is buildup and unsatisfying tedium. It starts out fast and furious and the ending just can’t live up to the grand beginning. Overall, though, it’s worth the price of admission. Quite the exciting ride while it lasts.
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