Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Other Guys (2010. USA)

THE OTHER GUYS doesn’t know what it wants to be. The first half hour works the best as we follow along for a few minutes with two hilarious super cops played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Samuel Jackson. They’re the Hollywood interpretation of law enforcement, while Mark Walberg and Will Ferell are supposed to be the other end of the spectrum, the guys who sit at a desk. The comparison between Hollywood action fiction versus reality is ripe idea (explored hilariously in the classic British HOT FUZZ) but the film doesn’t know if it wants to play it straight or to be a to dabble in a NAKED GUN style absurd fest. It jerks wildly between both, throwing the tone all over the place, missing more than it hits. Sadly, The Rock and Sam exit the picture very quickly and we’re left with people that simply aren’t as fun. Walberg is funny as the quick-to-action tough guy that gets stuck with a button down type (Ferell), but after the first half hour, Marky Mark is relegated to just reacting to Ferell going crazier and crazier – which isn’t very funny. Ferell was once a pimp named Gator! Hilarious!? It’s probably even funnier if they bring it up every two minutes! The plot is gibberish, Steve Coogan is completely wasted, the film sags heavily from the middle onward, never recovers, and ends with a whimper. Listen up parodists, if you want to mock big budget Hollywood action scenes, YOU NEED TO DELIVER THE ACTION. Don’t tease the viewer (As there’s a bunch of cool stunts that do happen) but deliver. We need the explosions, the destruction and the thrill of an action scene. That’s the JOKE. Unless that is you’re presenting it as minimalist take on the reality of police work...which this isn’t. THE OTHER GUYS is a fun concept and cast, squandered by lazy writing and bloated (yet till vacant) execution.

Also, please stop on the modern pop culture references that date themselves as they come out of the actor’s mouth – Jersey Shore? Maroon Five? It may be worth a easy laugh or two, but it just makes everything feel cheap. Who am I kidding? It'll never end.

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