EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|OTHER GUYS, THE (director/writer: Adam McKay; screenwriter: Chris Henchy; cinematographer: Oliver Wood; editor: Brent White; music: Jon Brion; cast: Will Ferrell (Allen Gamble), (Terry Hoitz), (Sheila), (Captain Gene Mauch), Steve Coogan (David Ershon), Ray Stevenson (Wesley), (Highsmith), Rob Riggle (Martin), Jr. (Fosse), (Danson), Ray Stevenson (Roger Wesley), Michael Delaney (Bob); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Adam McKay/Will Ferrell/Jimmy Miller/Patrick Crowley; Columbia Pictures; 2010)|
satire on the buddy-cop
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Adam McKay ("Step Brothers"/"The Landlord"/"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby")
this passable satire on the
buddy-cop action-comedy genre, that veers between being wacky fun in
its goof about going after the typical commercial Hollywood cop movie
and then surrendering to the genre's usual set pieces by doing the same
action scenes in earnest that it was just goofing on.
You can't have it both ways, which becomes the film's biggest artistic
mistake (but not necessarily a commercial miscalculation).
Cowriters Chris Henchy and McKay tailor the material just right for the mismatched opposite idiot partner NYPD detectives: Terry Hoitz (), a hot-tempered macho cop demoted to desk duty after wounding New York Yankee star Derek Jeter by mistake at the World Series and his milquetoast forensic accountant partner, Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell), happy to just be working at his desk on police reports. The misfit sad sack partners work in the same downtown office as the headline grabbing media darling lunkhead macho partner hero supercops, Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson), who are reckless but thought of by the public as sexy cops who keep the city safe. When the superheroes die in action, Terry wants to take their place and clamors to leave the desk for exciting field work but has a hard time convincing his safety-first dweeb partner to leave the desk.
When Allen discovers by
accident that oily Brit billionaire financier, David Ershon (Steve Coogan), is involved in some shady white-collar
business scheme of bilking investors, the desk cops get their action.
The pic offers some
sophisticated goofs on the genre with weird jokes about lions and tunas
in combat for animal supremacy of the ocean (jokes aimed at an arthouse
audience) and a timely didactic critique
financial corruption, but then
cowardly revert to the usual car chases, shoot-outs, confrontation with
the bad guys and explosions.
Don't Cry."moonlighting as a
manager at a Bed, Bath & Beyond)
If it wasn't for Will
Ferrell's ability to be comically absurd this film, with all its
dead-spots and lumpiness, wouldn't have worked. Through Ferrell's
inspired madcap silly antics, there are enough funny moments to
overcome its fear of trying to go for broke and be as witty in its
observations of society as were past great comedians Tati, Chaplin and
Buster Keaton. Instead it sinks its teeth into being a cross between a
typical action-comedy commercial film and one yearning for some
artistic integrity. How well one likes it, depends on how much
one cares for Ferrell.
REVIEWED ON 8/6/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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