The Other Guys: Makes You Wish You Were Watching Any Other Movie

6 08 2010

The Other Guys movie posterAfter an innovative motion poster and a profanity-laced MTV Movie Awards appearance, Will Ferrell’s and Mark Wahlberg’s The Other Guys garnered some initial positive buzz. But did it succeed in its aspirations of becoming this summer’s The Hangover? Here’s the breakdown:

Gamble (Ferrell) and Hoitz (Wahlberg) are the butt of every joke in the New York City Police Department Detective unit. They are an unlikely pair, don’t get along, and have very different ideas of what it means to be a good detective. Once they are given a chance to become the all-star detectives of their unit, Gamble and Hoitz embark on an adventure fraught with unforeseen and comical obstacles.

The Monkey: Will Ferrell plays the bumbling Detective Allen Gamble with surprising restraint. A departure from his over-the-top leading man roles in the past, Ferrell almost takes a back seat in The Other Guys, leaving the outrageous antics (for the most part) to his co-star, Wahlberg. It’s this play against type that makes Ferrell’s character that much more endearing, and allows Ferrell to steal the show.

Michael Keaton plays Captain Gene Mauch with a gleam in his eye, clearly having fun with the whole thing. It’s nice to see him get some screen time and his presence added a distinguished yet light-hearted component to the movie. His scenes as a Bed Bath & Beyond manager were hilarious and well-played.

Also, make sure to stick around through the credits. There are some interesting facts and infographics (although you’ll have to sit through Eva Mendes croon the movie’s theme song, ‘Pimps Don’t Cry’ – yes, the song is called ‘Pimps Don’t Cry’).

The Weasel: While there are some truly funny moments, the majority of the movie is typical Ferrell-esque ramblings that have long lost their appeal. Gone are the days when a joke could be drawn out, losing its humor, then be drawn out even longer to circle back to funny again. The Other Guys never circles back to funny. The jokes are so tired and over-used, I think there were only five gags throughout the entire 107 minutes. And I’m all for some dark comedy; some of the best comedy is darker than dark. But mishandled, it just ends up in poor taste. The Other Guy fumbles through such topics as suicide, domestic violence, prostitution…while these things can certainly be made funny, The Other Guys just makes you cringe and say, Really?

I was excited to see Mark Wahlberg take on a comedic role and I can now say I will not be excited to see him in a c0medic role in the future. It seems as if Ferrell pulled him aside and said, “So, since I’m not being the over-the-top clown I usually am, you gotta take my place.” Wahlberg spent the entire movie yelling. Like with so many things, it’s fine in moderation, but after half an hour of screaming and constant berating, yelling and whining, I found myself wishing that Ferrell would take over and shut him up. Unfortunately, that never happened.

Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Eva Mendes are completely wasted in this movie. All three actors could have brought so much more to the screen, could have helped level out the exhaustive repartee between Ferrell and Wahlberg, but instead they are relegated to school-yard jokes and a few painfully predictable punch lines.

The end of the movie (paired with the financial statistics highlighted during the credits) was odd, making me think I might have missed a larger picture, some high-minded commentary or satire of the economy and U.S. capitalism. But if that was the case, the movie did a fine job of muddling any possible message.

Will Ferrell proved he could do something slightly different than the usual. The Other Guys proved a talented cast does not equal an enjoyable summer comedy.

1.5 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? Did you enjoy Ferrell’s more subdued character? Do you think Wahlberg has a future in comedies? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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