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.
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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.
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.
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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.