by Rick Grant
As much as I like Will Ferrell and some of his movies, much of his body of work has been disappointing, even when Ferrell’s portrayal of his character is funny. Unquestionably, he’s a funny guy. But this film is so flawed, Ferrell’s comedic talent is lost in the film’s failures.
In The Other Guys Ferrell plays a forensic accountant detective, Allen Gamble who has been assigned to a squad room with his disgraced partner Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg).
In a bizarre incident, Hoitz shot baseball star Derek Jeter in the leg and is the laughing stock of the force. Like all detectives, Gamble carries a gun and badge, but he’s not on the front line of collaring suspects like the star cops of the squad, Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and P.K.Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson).
So what went wrong? Let me count the ways. First, Mark Wahlberg never grasped his character’s subtleties or emotional motivation. One second he and Ferrell are talking in a normal tone, then Wahlberg’s character Hoitz is yelling at Gamble. His characterization is way overblown and doesn’t ring true.
Second, and most importantly, the film is a loosely pieced together series of skits that lack any cohesive connections or segues. The editing is choppy and disjointed as the two bumbling detectives screw up their case with one faux pas after another.
Writer / director Adam McKay failed to get Wahlberg to tone down his portrayal of Hoitz. His scenario is convoluted and just a backdrop for the stunts. It seems today’s audiences demand more explosions and car stunts.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some funny scenes, but with too many dead zones with no laughs. The concept of two incompetent cops has been done to death. In fact, the television series “The Good Guys” is another poorly executed stunt show.
Eva Mendes, fresh from her sex tape scandal, plays Gamble’s hot wife. Of course, Gamble’s partner Hoitz can’t believe that Gamble has such a sexy wife, and he doesn’t get it. Hardy, har, har!
Thugs, gun battles ensue with a major car chase as the two detectives are now labeled rogue cops. The film then melts down to a series of slow motion gun battles with a very predictable outcome.
Lately, I’ve noticed the quality of these cop dramadies going down since 48 Hours set the archetype. If you are a rabid Will Ferrell fan, then it might be worth seeing. He’s funny a quarter of the run time. This is a real misfit, buddy-cop bomb. Wait until it goes to late-night cable.
The Other Guys movie review
by Rick Grant