Special to South Florida Times
Sometimes, filmmakers shoot themselves in the foot with their movie trailers, which are usually posted early to generate buzz. The most harmful trailer usually consists of the film’s entire plot. Why go see the film when you’ve already seen the 30 second Cliff Notes of it?
The second most harmful trailer is the one that gives away the most comical scenes in the film. By the time you watch the film, you’ve seen those scenes so much that they’ve lost their comedic juice. The latter has helped to cripple The Other Guys.
In The Other Guys, two hapless detectives, Allen Gamble (played by Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) who are seemingly mismatched, try to solve a white collar crime and arrest business tycoon, David Ershon (Steve Coogan). Unfortunately, there are others also after Ershon. It’s up to Gamble and Hoitz to save the day and fill the hero void left by the demise of two hotheaded cops, P.K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson).
Director and screenwriter Adam McKay and writer Chris Henchy have been working with Ferrell on film projects for some time now. They’ve collaborated on such works as the “Funny or Die” webisodes, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. It appears to me, for every good film that McKay and Ferrell collaborate on, there’s a film that’s just plain stupid. It’s unfortunate that The Other Guys is one of them.
Not only are the best scenes given away in Other’s trailers, but the comedy brought little more than a chuckle from this picky critic. I felt a little bad, sitting quietly in the packed theater, with everyone around me laughing. I got the jokes; I just didn’t think they were that funny.
That said, Ferrell is essentially his Ferrell self in Other Guys. He’s naïve and a total dolt, but he does have some heart, which keeps me from totally disliking him. Wahlberg is attempting to flex his comedic muscles. But, because his Terry relies too heavily on gay-bashing jokes and men who are in touch with their feminine side, he becomes a one-note character.
Speaking of one note characters, Jackson’s Highsmith and Johnson’s Danson are an interesting pair. They actually have good chemistry, play well off of each other and should’ve been given more screen time. I wouldn’t mind seeing an Other Guys sequel starring Jackson and Johnson as the hotheaded cops who are sadly mistaken in their belief that they’re invincible.
I also liked the pairing of Damon Wayans Jr.’s Fosse and Rob Riggle’s Martin. They are the jerks of the film, but they are still pretty interesting. I liked seeing Wayans Jr. in action. He’s got his dad’s talent. Riggle, who played a Las Vegas cop in The Hangover, is no stranger to his role and expounded on it.
The Other Guys is also a story about the current financial state of our country and how bailing out the people who put this country in jeopardy in the first place has led to an even worse situation. This fact is reiterated in the end credits, where McKay gives facts and figures, comparing and contrasting our financial state now and where it was ten years ago.
For a summer film, The Other Guys is decent entertainment, despite its now stale jokes and gags. It’s not the worst film of the summer, but it’s not the best, either.
Kimberly Grant may be reached at KAliciaG@aol.com.