Friday, August 6, 2010

The Other Guys

First, when it comes to comedies, I love reading too much into them. I think somehow on a subconscious level, the best comedies are made with a deep intent. Second, I always get the impression from his films that Adam McKay has the ambition to put forth something really meaningful. Not necessarily always in a comedic fashion, but he somehow does deliver these comments about society in his films. His comments are just behind a lot of silliness. So to get to what is really behind The Other Guys, I first thought about the characters and the actors that portrayed them. You have Will Ferrell who in this film I felt he was surprisingly restrained. I want to see more performances like this from him. He nailed the whole, "I'm a desk cop" act perfectly that was needed to buy this character as a real human being with emotions. As we learn about his past, we realize that like Ferrell, the character he plays has to restrain himself. Yet Ferrell's character has been assigned to Mark Wahlberg's character who doesn't restrain himself and he gets closer and closer to blowing a fuse as he has to put up with his obsession of being the top cop. Now Wahlberg is a dramatic actor first and probably a comedic actor second. His intincts seemed to be telling him to play this role seriously and it just works. Both actors deliver jokes and insults with much more class than say Rob Schneider or David Spade. These characters have great distinctly divided personalities that border on obsessiveness. The Other Guys really is some sort of veiled character study on being what is wanted versus what is needed of you (and some statements on being cool and manly as hell). The performances from Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, and Steve Coogan are just part of the icing on the cake. This film reminded me of something from early Woody Allen, and who knows? Maybe McKay can start to get a little more serious because to be honest, I didn't laugh a whole lot. Some of it was just absurd but it usually takes a lot to get my jaded self to even chuckle or giggle. More amusing than hilarious but still fun to watch. However I must distinguish the golfing range scene with the helicopter... it was comedy gold. On my Good, Okay, and Bad scale…. GRADE: OKAY

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