Monday, 30 August 2010
FILM REVIEW: THE OTHER GUYS
I’ve mentioned it in other reviews, but Will Ferrell is on my list of funny men I simply don’t find funny. No surprises then that I failed to enjoy his latest comedy, The Other Guys, though admittedly, the longer the 107 minute (is that all?) film ran the more my defences were worn down; I may have even laughed once or twice. Which means if you’re a fan of Ferrell, then you’ll probably find this buddy cop, action-comedy a veritable laugh fest.
Ferrell is Allen Gamble, a forensic accountant with the NYPD assigned to a desk and a hot headed partner, Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), who’s been saddled with desk duties following his shooting of baseball star Derek Jeter (no, I don't know who he is either). Hoitz is the kind of guy who is quick to suspect drug barons behind every misdemeanour and even quicker to lose his temper. Writer-director Adam McKay, a frequent Ferrell collaborator, says he wanted to exaggerate the detective Wahlberg played in Martin Scorcese’s The Departed (2006), making the actor’s Oscar nomination for that role even more laughable.
So The Other Guys is essentially an odd couple film with the very two different policemen forced to work together to solve a case, something involving investment fraud or some such which is being perpetrated by Wall Street banker David Ershon, played by Brit comedian, Steve Coogan, who effortlessly steals every scene he’s in, which is appropriate given he’s also stolen $32 billion and the Chechnians, Nigerians and Anne Heche want it back. So ensues a barrage of car chases, shoot-outs, absurdist humour and enough crudity to keep teenage boys of all ages amused.
It’s a relatively wit-free zone, despite some good sportsmanship by the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Michael Keaton and Eva Mendes as Ferrell’s ‘plain looking’ wife.
But to its credit, The Other Guys manages to produce more anger and finger pointing at Wall Street shenanigans and government myopia than Oliver Stone’s forthcoming Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; the closing credits featuring animated sequences outlining how pyramid schemes work and the difference in salary between a CEO or banker and your average beat cop. Sobering facts to mull over as you wipe the laugh tears from your eyes (or not).