Friday, August 13, 2010

‘The Other Guys’–Finally, a fun time at the movies!

It’s been a busy, hot summer and unfortunately very short on laughs and no ‘The Last Airbender’ does not count – that was torture. Then along comes ‘The Other Guys’ – the latest piece of work from long-time partners Adam McKay (who also directed), Chris Henchy and Will Ferrell. Which is refreshing as Ferrell’s last few efforts have been passable at best (I get a little tired of him acting like a 5 year old – can you hear that Adam Sandler? You guys are funnier playing like adults!) – ‘The Other Guys’ retunes Ferrell to ‘Anchorman’ and ‘Talladega Nights’ form – where the laughs are gut busting and the plot really doesn’t matter!

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (yes, Mark Wahlberg proved with ‘Date Night’ that he can play comedy) are Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz, two low grade detectives who are forced to partner together. Gamble (Ferrell) is a forensic accountant, while Hoitz (Wahlberg) is a wannabe hero who accidently shot Derek Jeter during the World Series costing the Yankees the win (inspired comedy). They are always in the shadow of the two superstars of the force: Highsmith (Samuel L Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), they get all of the glory while Gamble and Hoitz wallow in obsecurity. In an inspired and hilarious rip to the ‘Lethal Weapon’ movies, Highsmith and Danson are killed forcing Gamble and Hoitz to step into the cop game.

‘The Other Guys’ is all about getting the laughs and less about the plot – while it does seem to make some sense – most of the time it is there to set-up one joke to the next. McKay, Ferrell and Henchy lambast just about every cop movie cliché – something that Kevin Smith obviously had no idea how to do in the awful ‘Cop Out’. Ferrell and Wahlberg do a great job at keeping the laughs just right and not forced; Wahlberg continues to prove that he can be a great straight man with the right material. The rest of the cast is near perfect; Michael Keaton as the hardnosed Captain hasn’t had this funny a role since ‘Beetlejuice’ while Jackson and Johnson have a lot of hammy fun in the roles as super cops.

There are some great sight gags as well – you have to watch close and if you blink you may miss a few. Especially funny is the end sequence car chase in which two detectives bring a 5th grader along for the chase – as they barrel around corners the poor little girl is thrown back and forth in the back site – flying in and out of our vision. Ferrell and McCay have a great sense of physical as well as verbal comedy, they make great use of it in this film. For more fun from these guys – be sure and check out their Funny or Die website.

A great 3 ½ star summer comedy just when I thought I had to write the summer off!
Keeping in the comedy vein, head out to your local Redbox and pick up ‘Death at a Funeral’ – the latest from Chris Rock and friends. While not rip roaring funny, it will generate a chuckle or two – which is not bad for $1.00. This 2 star effort may just tickle your funny bone on the right night!

1 comment:

Michelle Regan said...

Enjoyable review and blog. Sounds like a movie worth seeing.