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Starring: Will Farrell, Mark Wahlberg, Steve Coogan, Michael Keaton
Written by: Adam McKay/Chris Henchy
Directed by: Adam McKay
If I were to sit back and compare the latest Will Farrell/Adam McKay collaboration The Other Guys to their other works together, I would place it slightly above Talladega Nights but far below the rest. Although it's filled with some funny moments and clever lines (I'm pretty sure there was a Dexter reference thrown in there), The Other Guys is just off enough to make this more of a rental kind of watch as opposed to paying your ten bucks at the theater.

Farrell and Mark Wahlberg star as Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz, two detectives in the NYPD. They aren't the car destroying, explosion-causing kind though; while everyone else gets in on the fun, Gamble and Hoitz are stuck doing menial clerical desk work, which infuriates Hoitz (who is confined to the desk thanks to accidentally shooting a civilian) but is pleasant and good to Gamble. After a hole opens up for two new hot shots to step up, Gamble and Hoitz stumble their way into actual detective work and begin to chase the tail of a large financial scheme involving bumbling investor David Ershon (Steve Coogan).

The Other Guys is filled with good characters and funny moments; Michael Keaton (on a resurgance of sorts this year with this and Toy Story 3) is a riot as Gamble and Hoitz's captain Gene Mauch, who also moonlights as an employee at Bed Bath and Beyond. Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, who play the hero cops P.K. Highsmith and Christopher Danson, completely steal the show in their extended cameo at the beginning. They play it over the top and ridiculous, and I was actually kind of wishing the whole movie was about them. Farrell doesn't altar his usual schtick, going between nice guy funny and going completely balls out insane. If you love Will Farrell, you'll have no problem with this. He has some good moments too; his tuna Vs. lion rant with Wahlberg towards the beginning is one of the funniest things I have seen this year. Even Rob Riggle manages to not be annoying in his moments as rival detective Martin, although Damon Wayans Jr. as his partner Fosse drags it down a little.

As for moments, the aformentioned tuna rant was a riot, and the side plot of hobos and their love for the Prias had me laughing. Still, on the whole, most of the jokes did not seem to do it, at least for me. There's a running gag involving Gene making TLC (the R and B group) references without actually knowing who they are. It started off kind of funny, but it gets dragged through the mud. Also, the sideplot of "Gator", an altar ego of Farrell, was funny in flashback form, but when Farrell starts talking like Gator, it becomes unfunny. I don't want to spoil it, but I'm just sick of that type of humor. It doesn't work.

Now, Mark Wahlberg. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a big fan of the guy's work, and his role in The Other Guys isn't that great. He's just not, well, funny. Still, I respect him for at least giving it a shot and there were brief flashes involving his character that were amusing, but he and Farrell didn't play off each other as well as they thought/hoped.

There is a plot here, and The Other Guys does occasionally get off the funny track to follow it, which I had no issue with. It was interesting to some extent, and Steve Coogan is perfectly slimy as David Ershon although most of his jokes seem to fall flat, both movie-wise and audience-wise. Adam McKay seemed to have made this comedy as some sort of parody/statement on corporate culture and how messed up it truly is, and I respect that, although it's not done all too well (it's blatantly obvious, especially if you stay for the weird, but definitely educational, Michael Moore-like factoid credits).

The Other Guys, as I said, has some funny moments and some funny characters. It doesn't all work though, and it went it stumbles, it's painfully obvious. If you're a Will Farrell fan, an Adam McKay fan, or both, check out the movie. You'll probably love it no matter what I say. If you're tired of the Farrell schtick, do not go near this. The rest of you can wait for DVD.

Final Verdict:
C+

6/19/2012 07:18:20 pm

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