Friday, August 20, 2010

The Other Guys

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like The Other Guys. As much as I love Will Ferrell, the previews made it look stupid, and not in a good way. I was pleasantly surprised last week, then, when my family saw The Other Guys and realized it was quite funny.

The premise: Partners Allen Gamble (Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are detectives with the NYPD who, rather than going out and getting bad guys, are stuck in the office doing paperwork. Gamble loves this lifestyle; Hoitz hates it. He also hates Gamble. But after the deaths of the department’s star crime-fighters (the perfectly-cast Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson), Hoitz sees an opening and manages to get Gamble to join him in investigating a jewelry heist. Of course, everything is not what it seems, and the two become wrapped up in a corporate fraud case.

Ferrell, as to be expected, is a delight – practically everything out of the man’s mouth makes me laugh. And Wahlberg stood his own, not only as a straight-man, but also making jokes of his own.

One of the things I appreciated most about The Other Guys was that its jokes were not directed to a particular demographic: there were broad laugh-lines, silliness, and smart jokes. The lines that made my family laugh were different than the ones that made the people behind us laugh, but we all found the movie funny.

Though The Other Guys is clearly meant to be a comedy about action movies, rather than an action movie itself, it doesn’t let that stop it from having plenty of car chases, fights, and explosions. The movie lost me a bit in those sections – I would choose comedy over action in a heartbeat – but I can see why others would enjoy it.

Though I would never describe The Other Guys as a political movie, it does comment on the irresponsibility of Wall Street. Within the movie are a few digs at the SEC, and over the closing credits, graphics illustrate statistics of the misuse of bailout money and the disparity between CEOs and other workers. I never would have guessed that The Other Guys would remind me so much of some of the economy-centered books that I’ve read this year.

In the end, I’m giving The Other Guys a 3/5 (though it’s on the higher end of the “3-scale”). It’s worth seeing once, but not more than that.

Watch Jon Stewart’s interview with Will Ferrell

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