Review: The Other Guys

Posted August 6th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Coming out of Comic-Con the most immediate release that had my anticipation raised from attending a panel for was The Other Guys. Footage was shown, which included some from the film and some that didn’t make the cut, and it was out of control funny. Part of me thinks that experience having raised expectations somewhat damaged my ultimate enjoyment of the film and the same goes with the advertising that has probably given away too much. While I found the movie to be quite funny it wasn’t the completely uproarious time that I had hoped for.

The Other Guys is basically a buddy-cop comedy, however focusing on the guys who rarely see action due to their (various) issues and perceived incompetence. Will Ferrell plays the desk jockey while Mark Whalberg is the guy who has been hamstrung due to a mistake that, in New York, could never be lived down.

The movie started strong with the action provided by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (while also having maybe the most genuinely hilarious scene in the film) but then it settled down a bit with some initial interaction that fell a little flat. It soon picked back up though with Ferrell providing most of the laughs and the unexplainable attraction women have for him and ignorance towards it (his wife played by Eva Mendes is “plain”), factors in largely to that. He also carries with him a past that has led him to being comfortable just working at his desk.

What we get into is an investigation into white collar crime which actually takes precedence by becoming a central focus rather than just being something in the background that they must work together on. I can see some thinking this took away a little from the comedic nature of the film, but I actually found myself interested in what they were investigating and the ultimate outcome. It provided more depth to the story than I had expected with the characters still providing the laughs despite that.

As to Mark Wahlberg I went in expecting to get a kick out of him in a role which isn’t the typical one he plays but I was let down a bit. His intensity comes through as always but it is almost like he tried to push it up a notch, so while I anticipated him being the straight-man next to Ferrell he came across more as an exaggerated jerk. There were some subtle things he did though that cracked me up, just didn’t get many laughs out of his delivery or playing off Ferrell who demanded the attention in most every scene.

The Other Guys makes for a largely enjoyable time but I think it lacked that special element present in some of the past offerings from Adam McKay and Will Ferrell which helped to gain them cult followings after multiple viewings.

Rating: ★★★☆☆