Saturday, August 7, 2010

Paragraph Movie Reviews: The Other Guys

If you don't have plans to see this movie, you can check the spoilers here and then come back.

This buddy cop flick send-up had probably some of the flat out funniest dialogue I've heard in a comedy in years, I'm pretty sure in large part because Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg seemed to be ad-libbing most of the time. These dudes have more than just good chemistry together and a clear sense of comfort with one another, they provide excellent balance as they're not just two guys doing the same act with one doing it better as seems to be the case too often with Ferrell movies. I enjoyed Ferrell more than I have in awhile here as he seemed to settle into the character and fight the urge to go too over the top. As far as I'm concerned, Wahlberg should do more and more comedic roles because he's so funny without even seeing to try that hard; just that he's self-aware enough to poke fun at his own tough guy image makes me chuckle. Ferrell is actually more of the straight man despite being so quirky here, while Wahlberg just throws wild temper tantrums, and it works. Can I watch Mark Wahlberg make jokes without picturing Andy Samberg? Honestly, no, but that's ok (and his character's understated delusional view of his world is just great). However, great as Ferrell and Wahlberg are together and though I could just watch them play off one another for hours, that's pretty much all The Other Guys is, and aside from two funny guys telling jokes, there's not a lot to hang on as far as emotional heart. That's fine, and if you adjust your expectations I think you'll certainly dig this, but be forewarned. As far as supporting cast, they could really be anybody given how huge the two stars loom, but Eve Mendes and Steve Coogan are still pretty inspired; Michael Keaton is fine, but given how rare a performance by him is these days, I guess I was expecting more. Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson are both clearly having a blast sending up their usual action personas and it shines through, but pretty much what you see from them in the trailer is all they're in the move for. One final thought: For a guy who just does Will Ferrell comedies, Adam McKay directs some pretty great action sequences.

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