Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Other Guys

When Will Ferrell collaborates with Adam McKay we expect to laugh. The Other Guys delivers on that regard, but there may be something more here that wasn’t present in the previous films the duo worked on. We open with a sloppily filmed car chase involving two of NYC’s top cops (Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock) who throw caution to the wind and act like they have never heard of the word procedure. A seriously funny misjudgment opens the door for two disgraced cops to save the day and become heros. One is Ferrell, an accountant for the department who gradually reveals the reasons he has chosen such a protected, uptight lifestyle. His partner is played by Mark Wahlberg, an action hungry cop who hates Ferrell with a passion, and was put on desk duty after accidentally shooting probably the worst person to shoot in New York. The two begin investigating a shady Brit billionaire (Steve Coogan) who has swindled some bad people and now is concocting another scheme to pay them back. People often complain about getting the same performance from Will Ferrell, but here we get a (primarily) reserved and surprisingly effective one. Mark Wahlberg is also surprisingly good as he gets to show off his acting chops. It is also worth mentioning the presence of Michael Keaton, he is a riot as the police captain. I also liked the directorial touches McKay adds in some of the chase and action scenes. A montage summarizing a night of drinking at a bar is also wonderfully created. The film is not perfect. Many gags go on to long or do not work and the movie felt long to me. The corporate crime statistics that run during the credits also felt out of place. Still, McKay and Ferrell know what makes us laugh, and I hope they reteam again soon.