Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Man on Film: The Other Guys

If you have actually had a conversation with me in the past year or so, there was a very good chance that at some point I said, "So I was watching Step Brothers today/yesterday..." Between its ever-presence on the premium movie channels, its availability on Netflix Instant Queue, and the fact that I own it on Blu-Ray, it seems that it's always calling out to me, and I answer its call an inordinate amount of the time.

The reason for this is simple: Step Brothers might just be the funniest movie in the past 10 years. The premise is simple (two 40-year-old men live their lives like 10-year-olds) but basically allows for the odd comic brilliance of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly to shine.

Following on the heels of that release, my expectations were going to be impossibly high for The Other Guys. To be fair, The Other Guys was a perfectly all right movie. It was funny. I actually found myself laughing pretty consistently throughout the film, which is the truest test of how well a comedy succeeds at being a comedy.

Mark Wahlberg gets to play the angry man that he played in The Departed and I Heart Huckabee's so well, and while it may not be new territory, it definitely works. He absolutely made The Departed for me. Every moment he was on screen was golden. Here, his anger and his frustration at his partner not wanting to be the kind of cop he needed him to be works very well.

Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock were fucking great in their limited roles as the super cops. Their chase scene was absurdly over the top, and the "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" sequence is uproariously funny. Michael Keaton and the TLC quotes are deliciously bizarre.

Will Ferrell is very funny, especially as his Gator alter-ego.

Unfortunately, the film isn't transcendent. It is certainly unfair to expect this of a film, but The Other Guys, at least upon first viewing, didn't make me forget about Step Brothers.

It certainly isn't that I didn't like the film, and it was a thousand times better than this year's Kevin Smith "film" Cop Out, but The Other Guys is remarkably forgettable.

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