Saturday, August 14, 2010

Movie with Abe: The Other Guys

The Other Guys
Directed by Adam McKay
Released August 6, 2010

When something stupid and inexplicable happens once, it has the potential to be funny. When it happens over and over again, however, without any hint of sense, logic, or maturity in the interim, it’s inexcusable. It’s no surprise that the trailer for “Jackass 3-D” plays before this film; both of these movies are made for the same audience. This isn’t designed for those who liked smarter films like “Knocked Up,” “Superbad,” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” It’s not even for those who liked the awful “Walk Hard,” because that film was disgusting and despicable, but for all of the right reasons (it tried hard to be a parody, and was necessarily stupid). “The Other Guys” just doesn’t make any sense at all, and how this film failed so miserably is a mystery.

This could have been the next “Rush Hour,” but some reason, it’s made up of irreverent, illogical jokes and themes that become tired within the film’s early moments. Will Ferrell is a great funnyman who honed his skills on “Saturday Night Live” before branching out to loud comedy in films like “Talladega Nights” and subtler, more nuanced work in dramaedies like “Stranger than Fiction.” He’s great at playing an idiot, as evidenced by his role in the shockingly good SNL-skit-turned-full-length-movie “A Night at the Roxbury.” Mark Wahlberg has done both comedy and drama, and most memorably earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a cop with a penchant for rudeness and cursing in “The Departed.” With these two men in the lead, this could (and should) have been a slam-dunk.

Instead, this fun enough premise becomes a remarkable disaster within the first half hour. This is the “Cop Out” model of cop comedies, pairing together two people who would never, ever be allowed to carry a gun and trying to sell the fact that they could be partners. Ferrell is a desk jockey who calls his smoking-hot wife (played by Eva Mendes, just to make the point clear) plain and seems to exhibit no trace of proper social skills. Wahlberg, on the other hand, plays an out-of-control, temperamental disgraced cop who got benched for shooting Derek Jeter during a crucial game. The movie essentially consists of Ferrell acting unfathomably idiotic and Wahlberg getting pissed at him and raising his voice. There’s also Michael Keaton in an embarrassing supporting role as the police captain who has a second job at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Steve Coogan and Anne Heche are even thrown in for good measure as financial criminals that, you guessed it, only Ferrell and Wahlberg can catch because no one else believes their theories.

There are funny moments in “The Other Guys,” but they’re few and far in between. It’s unbelievable how bad the film does get, and the moments of semi-hilarity are minimized by the general sense of anger that may come over you while watching the film. A low point is reached when Mendes breaks out in song, crooning “pimps don’t cry” to Ferrell. It’s not quite as horrific as an abysmal creation like “Grandma’s Boy,” but it does still beg the question – who approved this film? Who actually thought this was a good idea? It’s likely that most won’t despise this film as much as I did, but it was simply infuriating to watch it and think that this film can gross $35 million in its first weekend. This could have been done so much better, and there’s really no way it could have come out any worse. Give me the regular guys next time, I'm begging you.


No comments: