Written by: Big Ross, CC2K Staff Writer
This movie (and Mark Wahlberg in particular) fails to bring the funny.
The Other Guys has a promising premise. When stereotypical action movie police heroes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Samuel “Bad Mothafucka” Jackson have to be, erm, replaced, it’s the perfect opportunity for two misfit partners to step into the limelight. This deplorable duo is made up of Will Ferrel as a naive, gullible forensics accountant and Mark Walhberg as an intense cop with a chip on his shoulder. Put them on the case, and wackiness ensues and the ticket sales go through the roof, right? Not so fast.
It’s hard to say exactly where The Other Guys goes wrong. For the most part, the first third or so of the movie is actually pretty funny. Will Ferrel seems to be eschewing the over-the-top attempts at humor from earlier work such as, well, pretty much everything he’s been in, and it works. He’s funny in an understated sort of way. Johnson and Jackson are great as a parody of the Lethal Weapon/Tango & Cash buddy cop movies of the 80’s, and Michael Keaton makes a humorous turn as their overworked police captain.
The one piece that doesn’t fit is Wahlberg. He’s a one-note actor, and that note is intensity. It’s really the only thing the guy can do, yet he still manages to botch a role seemingly tailored for him. Getting paired with Ferrel only makes things worse. Wahlberg is not funny. He cannot do comedy. It’s obvious he wants to be funny, he desperately tries to be funny in this movie, but he is absolutely not funny. Contrasting his futile attempts with Ferrel’s natural, almost effortless sense of humor and comedy makes Wahlberg look all the more pathetic. I almost feel sorry for him, but then I remember he makes millions of dollars even though he has no talent. So I don’t.
Somewhere around the halfway point, The Other Guys goes off the rails. The plot doesn’t make any sense, Wahlberg is delivering ridiculous lines of dialogue like “I’m a peacock, you’ve got to let me fly” with a deranged intensity that is supposed to be funny but (I can’t say this enough) is the antithesis of funny, and Ferrel reverts to his over-the-top, getting stale schtick. It’s all random, and senseless, and largely not funny.
The Other Guys is a waste of talent, time, and money. If you want to laugh and have fun at the cinema this month, save your cash and go see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The movie (and my review) drops next week.