THE OTHER GUYS
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
AUGUST 18, 2010
How can you knock “The Other Guys?” Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg prove to be at their comedic bests. Compared to Ferrell’s past endeavors, his newest installment appears more mainstream and socially acceptable than say, “Talladega Nights” or “Semi-Pro,” which normally rely heavily on the eccentric nature of Ferrell in his unique characters. “The Other Guys” relies on a multitude of specific characters and laugh-inspiring dialogue.
“The Other Guys” is a parody of “Miami Vice,” without actually stating that it is a parody. With the cheesy ’80s score and the police officers constantly at battle with each other and their superiors (who happens to be Michael Keaton), the feel of the cop drama “Miami Vice” is definitely there. The buddy cop feature of the film, not only with Ferrell and Wahlberg but with Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson, helps carry the hilarity through the film. By keeping the story in the present-day New York City, rather than in the past in Miami “The Other Guys” is placed on a completely different playing field than relatable films such as “Starsky and Hutch.”
Will Ferrell plays the eccentric cop, Allen Gamble, the desk-ridden, brownnosing cop, who merely stumbles upon the city’s biggest case by noticing empty scaffolding permits. Expect the same performance from Ferrell as you would in most of his comedies, despite being more relaxed than most of his previous characters. Set in his life as a nobody cop, Ferrell fights tooth and nail to stay put while his partner (Wahlberg) drags him around the city looking for action. Ferrell’s obsession with mellow rock, a wooden gun, and the unexplainable ability to attract the most gorgeous women in the film dominates the comedy of the film.
Ferrell has been proven to carry films on his own in the past, and though they usually come out mediocre, the wild card walking into “The Other Guys” was Mark Wahlberg in a comedic role. Regardless to say, Wahlberg pulled it off stunningly. Playing chronically angry officer Terry Hoitz, Wahlberg screams and yells his way through the majority of the film, garnering most of the comedic bits in berating his partner, smashing his computer, and ultimately being unhappy with the entire world around him. Wahlberg’s delivery shatters the conception formed around his lackluster acting ability. Though I enjoy Wahlberg in almost every film he graces, his acting ability is not the most notable. In “The Other Guys,” however, he finds a way to portray the character effectively and proves that comedy is where he belongs.
The story of the film exists only to create situations for the actors to be humorous. There is no point in the plot that is engaging or original. The crime portion of the film only allows for interactions between the two main characters and the illusion of originality and story structure. In the end, the film is merely to showcase that paired together, Wahlberg and Ferrell can create magic.
Laughter begins within the first ten minutes of “The Other Guys,” and not exactly consistent, comedy does exist throughout the entirety of the film. Ferrell proves that there is not just one kind of humor in his acting repertoire and Wahlberg proves he can effectively perform comedy. “The Other Guys” is guaranteed to receive the same bad rap and negative reviews that Ferrell films are known for, but look beyond the familiar nature of the film and experience a notable and honestly hilarious film.
August 6, 2010
(for crude and sexual content, language, violence and some drug material)
Samuel L. Jackson