By: Andy Chruscicki (www.twitter.com/filmguy629)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Adam McKay, director of comedies such as Anchorman and Step Brothers, has again done what he does best. He has put together another classic and quotable film with his latest “buddy cop” comedy, The Other Guys. More after the break.
The Other Guys tells the story of two partner detectives. Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are two completely different cops who don’t get along at all. They are the laughing stock of their precinct because Gamble would rather sit at a desk instead of being out on the street looking for criminals which embarrasses Hoitz.
Hoitz is also mad because the police department forced Hoitz to partner with Gamble, who accidentally shot a famous baseball player. The two are incessantly harassed and made fun of by their precinct and no one takes them seriously.
When the top two detectives in the precinct unexpectedly die while chasing a group of bank robbers, Gamble and Hoitz are given a chance to step up and become the best detectives in the precinct. The two begin to investigate a permit violation by multi-billionaire and investment banker David Ershon (Steve Coogan). This doesn’t quite go how the two plan. As they dig deeper into the case, the two end up uncovering a plot that gets them in way over their heads.
What makes the film so good is the genuinely funny cast. They might not be the funniest performances of each actor’s career, but they are noteworthy and spot-on hilarious.
Ferrell is on top of his game in the film. Anyone who was ready to begin to write off Ferrell after his disappointing performance in last year’s Land of the Lost better wait before passing any more judgment on the “Saturday Night Live” alumnus. Ferrell is back and just as funny in The Other Guys as he was in previous films such as Talladega Nights and Step Brothers. This is arguably Ferrell’s best performance since 2004’s Anchorman.
The biggest shock in this film is without a doubt the unbelievably entertaining performance given by Michael Keaton as Hoitz and Gamble’s ridiculous commanding officer, Captain Gene Mauch. Keaton delivers some spectacular lines and makes you laugh almost every time he speaks. It’s a welcome surprise in a movie filled with comedic performances.
Wahlberg and Coogan do a pretty good job as Hoitz and Ershon, respectively. Although they’re not nearly as funny as the performances given by Keaton and Ferrell, but they’re good enough to deliver a few good chuckles.
Samuel Jackson and Dwayne Johnson are also good for a few laughs as the top two detectives who die unexpectedly. Their characters are cool and smooth, but for Jackson and Johnson, that isn’t much of a stretch.
What creates all of these laughs and funny performances is the film’s writer, producer and director, McKay. Like many times before, McKay has created a crazy world filled with off-the-wall, but laughable characters. McKay also spreads his directing wings with a couple complex and well-directed action sequences throughout the film. They aren’t perfect, but for a director who mainly sticks to comedy, the scenes are shot pretty well.
However, the narrative of the film isn’t that great. It’s simple and flimsy. For a comedy though, a complex or sophisticated narrative isn’t necessary because the story isn’t what drives the film, it’s the laughs that do. The simplicity of it may leave something to be desired for some.
All these things come together to deliver a solid comedic endeavor from McKay and company. The Other Guys isn’t the best comedy in years, but it delivers genuine laughs better than any other comedy this year.