1.23.2011

"At The Crime Scene, LOL."

THE OTHER GUYS (2010)
Image from blog.timesunion.com

Alright, director Adam McKay. You win. I wasn't that big a fan of Anchorman (2004), even though the rest of the world seems to have loved it, and I didn't bother going to see Step Brothers (2008) because, again, not crazy about Adam McKay's work. Or Will Ferrell. Actually, there's something about Will Ferrell that just plain pisses me off. It's not personal, it's just an unwarranted vendetta I have going against his face. I see his face and I'm turned off to the movie all together. However. Saving grace. Mark Wahlberg. Ah, Mark Wahlberg. All it took was one viewing of Scorsese's film The Departed (2006) and I was hooked on him. It was that character--Staff Sgt. Dignam. In case you've forgotten who he is, you can refer here. In any case, he was a character hard not to fall in love with. So, imagine my pleasant surprise when I found the exact same character in another movie--Adam McKay's creation The Other Guys. Except instead of being Staff Sgt., he was pencil pusher Terry Hoitz with anger management issues, a surprisingly good ballet foot, and a restraining order. There is a God. 

Image from http://mimg.ugo.com/
The Other Guys follows Terry Hoitz and Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell), two police partners who spend most of their time behind the desk, filling out paperwork. While this is a more than satisfactory job for Allen, Terry can't stand being harassed by the so called "heros" of New York City and hungers to get his gun out and his hands dirty. In a classic bit of "be careful what you wish for", Allen unwittingly gets them involved in a major Ponzi Scheme-type case and they get in over their head. And that's the plot. Which, in a comedy or an action movie, is usually just about the least important part of the movie. On to the good stuff.

First, I have to say something about the genre of the movie. Yes, it's a comedy. We've got that much down. But it's also...just a good movie. It's not a string of one-liners haphazardly thrown together. It's got interesting characters we can relate to, a fleshed out plot, and...wait for it...some really badass action scenes. That's right. It makes a legitimately good action movie just on it's own. We have our hero characters, we have rival police partners, we have the bad guys. They've got an awesome fight scene in the office where Mark Walhberg slides down the table shooting up the office (to the sounds of the White Stripes "Icky Thump"...the music makes half the action, really. That goes for most action films in my opinion. Put a killer score to it...and I'm with you). There's a couple well placed car chase scenes, and another great moment when Terry and Allen go drinking. In short, it's a cop movie spoof, sure. But it's done clearly from someone who digs cop movies, and it shows. 
Will Ferrell, Steve Coogan, and Mark Wahlberg.
Another surprise this movie threw my way. I actually liked Will Ferrell. Yeah, I know, everyone's like "Oh, but Elf (2003) was really touching". I failed to see the heartwarming Christmas movie about Will Ferrall being a super tall cast out elf, so I wouldn't know. But in most everything else, he's one of those comedic actors that just rubs me the wrong way. His characters come off kind of arrogant and repulsive in a way I can't quite put my finger on. However, as Allen, his character is, for once, the soft and gentle one. He just wants to sit behind his desk and stay out of everyone's way. And he actually acted it really well. I was endeared. It helped that he had great chemistry with Mark Walhberg, and their characters balanced each other out well. Allen's calm and rational attitude worked well against Terry's violent outbursts, drug lord paranoia, and constant petty insecure hissy fits (which were magically tamed by Eva Mendes' fantastic rack). The best moments in the movie revolved around them bantering it out--and usually ended with spilt coffee, a destroyed FBI mug, or convoluted Miranda Rights.

Image from listal.
Well. Most of the best moments. Every other moment was stolen completely by Samuel L. Jackson. If it's not obvious, I think this man is the shit. And he was perfectly cast in this role. Why? Because the whole premise of the character revolved around the fact that the audience could believe that, no matter what he did, he would come out without a scratch on the other end. And, since he was Samuel L. Jackson, I was with them the entire way, I believed he could do anything. Which made the ultimate punch line for his character that much more rewarding. I didn't stop laughing about that one until about halfway through the movie.

The Other Guys has a great sense of humor, badass action sequences, and an excellent buddy-buddy dynamic. In short, it's kind of hard not to enjoy. In case you need a little more convincing, I give you this Animal Planet gem. Enjoy.

4 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed the first half of this film but lost interest by the end. The standouts for me were Jackson, Johnson and Mendes. I was a little disappointed with the way Coogan was used in the film. Thought they could have utilized him better.

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  2. Jackson and Johnson were definitely epic. I would've probably been happy if the entire movie revolved around their insane antics. Coogan is always fun, and it was kind of amusing to see him as this sleezy, shifty character, though I will always agree to more Coogan.

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  3. "Aim for the bushes". Indeed, I wouldn't have minded seeing a little bit more of Jackson and Johnson. The Other Guys starts well but sags quite a bit after about 40 minutes. Still, one of the funniest comedy of 2010 imo.

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  4. I swear. Just reading "aim for the bushes" and my mood improves by %100. Jackson and Johnson, why are you such comic geniuses?

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