Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Right here on these very pages a few years back, my how time flies, we commented on how the first twenty minutes of the movie ‘Tropic Thunder’ could’ve very well been the funniest twenty minutes of any movie ever. Taken as a whole ‘Tropic Thunder’ was kind of up and down as a movie, outside of the Lincoln Osiris factor, never quite living up to that first inspired twenty minutes. This brings us to ‘The Other guys’ which arguably could possess the best first ten minutes of any movie ever, I mean it was really funny watching Samuel L. and The Rock do that ‘No Rules Cop’ thing, followed up with that press conference with the cherry on top being the top cops addressing their lesser colleagues at the police station. The thing is if you’ve seen the trailer then you’ve pretty much seen all of that already, just condensed. The rest of ‘The Other Guys’… well it definitely had its moments, and a couple of these moments made me spit my pop on the back of the head of that dude sitting in front of me, yet again, but I don’t think it ever rose up to its early promise.

The Other Guys are partners Allen Gamble (Will Farrell) and Terry Hoitz (Marky Mark). Gamble is a police accountant transferred up and promoted to Detective for some reason and is affectionately known around the office as ‘Paper Bitch’ due to his joy of filling out paper work while the hot head, loose cannon Hoitz is less affectionately nicknamed ‘The Yankee Clipper’ due to something bad he did to a local sports star. I’m thinking for the Boston bred Mark Wahlberg to pretend to shoot Derek Jeter probably held some secret joy for the man.

We’re not going to mention those two top cops in this movie anymore since they will not be in this movie anymore, which I think might be one of the missteps in this movie, but instead we will focus on The Other Guys as Hoitz wants to hit the streets, crack some crimes and fulfill the void left by those dearly departed top cops while his partner just wants to focus on paperwork. Also hoping to be the new top cops are officers Martin (Rob Riggle) and Fosse (Damon Wayans Jr.) who make it their life’s mission to torment Gamble and Hoitz and they do a mighty fine job of it. There’s a lot more going on between Hoitz and Gamble, mainly Hoitz attacking Gamble’s suspect masculinity considering he drives a Prius, pees like a girl and even possesses effeminate farts, according to Hoitz, but we will move on.

Eventually an actual movie kind of kicks in involving a Madoff type Ponzi scheme cat (Steve Coogan) trying to steal money from somewhere to pay off some AIG CEO type chick (Anne Heche) while this Blackwater security type dude (Ray Stevenson) is monitoring everything going on while shooting people and blowing up stuff. If there was a narrative that was truly inconsequential to the movie it resides in, this is the one.

So with this movie ‘The Other Guys’ director and co-writer Adam McKay has crafted a wildly uneven spoof movie that sometimes seem to take itself too seriously. At times. If you have seen a Will Ferrell movie, and who hasn’t seen a Will Ferrell movie, I think we all know what you are going to get from Will Ferrell in a Will Ferrell movie. I honestly don’t know how someone could watch Will Ferrell is something like ‘Semi-Pro’ and decide they didn’t like him in that but then found him funny in ‘Talladega Nights’ considering the man does slight alterations of the same character in pretty much every starring role he takes, outside of Stranger Than Fiction which to be honest was just a slightly larger alteration of that same guy. The movies might be good or bad, but he’s the same. Personally I think Will Ferrell is pretty funny, hell, I’m one of the few people on the planet Earth that actually liked ‘Land of the Lost’ and I thought that Will Farrell doing that ‘Will Farrell Thing’ was funny in this too. Same for Marky Mark who basically just lifted his character from ‘The Departed’ and slid that guy into a comedy and it worked okay. Marky Mark played it straight to Will Ferrell’s Mr. Funnyman, just the way it’s supposed to be.

The thing that didn’t work about ‘The Other Guys’ was our filmmakers trying to shoehorn some kind of moralistic story into this nonsense. I realize they had to put something in there to loosely connect the dots of Farrell being Farrell, Marky Mark being pissed off, Eva Mendes being sizzling hot and Michael Keaton as the TLC quoting Police Captain but what they settled on was half-baked at best. I also realize that the bulk of the money in making this movie had to have gone to tearing off all of these high level actors that they hired and they had to give these guys something to do, but still.

Now I don’t know anything about anything, this has been established many times, but since I had to pay Samuel L. and Dwayne Johnson to be in this movie I probably would’ve kept them around a little longer in this movie, maybe keep them on board until the end of this movie considering their ten minutes in this movie was the best thing about this movie. Maybe build on that on that dynamic a little bit and throw out the whole Ponzi scheme angle because it was weak anyway. I know Ponzi schemes are relevant and all but I watch C-SPAN when I want relevance. I have no desire to be educated via a Will Ferrell movie. But hey, these folks get paid an awful lot of money to do this thing and they don’t need a borderline homeless dude telling them how to do their jobs.

‘The Other Guys’ was a movie that was half funny and half something else I could’ve probably done without. But half funny works for me. Much better than not funny at all.

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