The Other Guys

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Movie review by Neil Sadler

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Samuel L Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, David Gideon, Derek Jeter

Director: Adam McKay

THE OTHER GUYS is from the same team that bought you ANCHORMAN and TALLADEGA NIGHTS namely Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. THE OTHER GUYS captures the deadpan anarchy of the first film and also the disappointing awkwardness of the second film but somehow manages to go a long way to capturing the comic mojo that it looked like Will Ferrell seemed to have lost for a while.

Essentially it is the story of two cops who never seem to hit to spotlight. In an excellent first act, we meet the two star cops of the New York Precinct they work in, played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a hilarious over-the-top chase scene. This sets a fine tone and also shows that Adam McKay does action very well.

The tone of the film changes as the focus switches to Wahlberg and Ferrell’s characters and it becomes a buddy-cop movie, the strangely over complicated plot taking a back seat to the relationship between these two mismatched detectives.

Mark Wahlberg is well cast as the deadpan Terry Hoitz. Although looking like he is about to corpse a few times in the film, he proves more than able of acting the straight guy against Ferrell.

Though the plot is minimal the action scenes are well executed and some of the stunts are amazing.

Ferrell’s Allen Gamble while lacking the instant appeal of ANCHORMAN’S Ron Burgundy, develops into a much more interesting character — particularly his pimp past and the repeated jokes about his amazing ability to pull attractive women. Just as with Burgundy he feels like a character you could return to.

Without the tension of a particularly involving plot, the film meanders in the middle, particularly in the extended version which adds a lot more humour but little to the story itself.

Luckily what you have is a film with enough wacky humour and memorable scenes to cope with repeated watching and I suspect will do well enough in DVD/Blu-ray sales to start talk of a sequel.

The DVD and Blu-ray feature many of the usual but still hilarious gag reels and deleted scenes — as well as the theatrical and extended versions of the film (the theatrical works much better.) One revolutionary feature is the “Mom”- mentary, a commentary by Ferrell’s, the writer and director’s mum. Sadly this is a far more interesting idea than the finished commentary actually is (although they are all great characters.)

Not a complete return to form for Ferrell, but a real improvement and genuinely funny film you’ll return to more than once.

4 out of 6 stars