“The Other Guys”
Directed by: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton
Showing at: Area theaters
The buddy cop film has been effectively beaten into the ground over the past 30-odd years, grinding clichés and hackneyed one-liners into our collective unconscious along the way. The genre itself isn’t to blame; it’s just difficult to find novel ways to tackle the same two-player premise. In “The Other Guys,” co-writer/director Adam McKay adopts the parody approach, using muse Will Ferrell and a group of other hilarious actors to show the absurdity of the worn-out conventions, and to make us laugh while doing it.
The film opens on two super cops, Highsmith and Danson (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson , respectively), in high-speed pursuit of a carful of criminals. The two detectives are as adept as they are destructive — they crash into cars, shoot their guns with reckless abandon and even fly a pristine Chevelle SS into a passenger-filled bus. Ultimately, they stop the bad guys and a grateful city thanks them, ignoring the massive amounts of property damage that they’ve racked up in the process. Highsmith and Danson are essentially the characters of a Michael Bay movie. They banter, they’re slick as hell and they get the job done — until McKay calls B.S.
That’s when the titular “other guys” must step up. Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) is a straight-laced detective who prefers his office chair to any sort of fieldwork. Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) is his hot-headed partner, paired with the square Gamble as punishment for a high-profile gaffe. When the twosome investigate a shady businessman (Steve Coogan ), they’re unwittingly drawn into the world of gun fights, explosions and what some critics call non-stop, high-octane, adrenaline-pumping thrill rides.
The script draws plenty of attention to the ridiculousness of average buddy cop fare. In McKay’s world, police can’t always leap across buildings in a single bound or calmly strut from a mushrooming explosion. His characters aren’t always fearless and their actions aren’t as graceful as Hollywood makes them seem.
As expected, this is where Ferrell and company shine. Gamble’s characterization is somewhat of a departure from the man-children of “Step Brothers” and the like. He still has the classic Ferrell-ian tinge, but he’s less infantile — his goofiness owing to a by-the-books mentality and a happy purity.
Mark Wahlberg also shows off some impressive comedic chops, though it shouldn’t be a surprise. Dirk Diggler had plenty of moments fit for a McKay script and Tommy Corn (of “I Heart Huckabees”) showed that Wahlberg could go against his tough-guy image to earn more than a few laughs. Here, Wahlberg draws from this pool, flexing his muscles to hide his softer side.
At times, “The Other Guys” lags, but the performances by Ferrell, Wahlberg and Michael Keaton, who plays Captain Gene Mauch, keep it afloat. At other times, the film becomes the very thing that it’s trying to parody, but we’re laughing so hard that we don’t really care.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
When UMN students plan for a vacation, having trip cancellation travel insurance is a worthwhile commodity to check out.
Minneapolis Used Cars
Give back to the Minnesota community with a boat donation at boat4causes.org.
If you have been involved in a car accident call a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer for a free consultation.